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Targeting DeSantis

March 8, 2022

Last week, Florida’s legislature passed a law similar to Mississippi’s law that bans abortion after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The White House immediately went ballistic over this, with strong statements of opposition from both President Biden and Vice President Harris.

https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/03/07/the-biden-harris-attack-on-the-new-florida-abortion-law-shows-how-much-the-left-fears-ron-desantis-n532641

But as that article points out, this is only one of many recent state laws reining in abortion, some of them more severe than Florida’s. So why the immediate harsh reaction to Florida? Redstate's reasonable theory is that they’re scared to death of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is proving to be a tough, effective, very popular leader who could run for President and draw the same supporters as Trump, only without the years of media-amplified negatives.

That’s why you’re hearing so many anti-DeSantis stories (for example, he “yelled” at teenagers to take off their masks – spoiler alert: he didn’t). Expect to hear a lot more attacks on DeSantis and Florida by Democrats, even as many of them are fleeing to Florida to escape the consequences of their own insane policies.

By the way, kudos to VP Harris for at least having the honesty to use the word “abortion” in her statement. Biden continued the usual liberal fuzzy euphemism game of calling it “reproductive health care.” It’s not very healthy for babies, is it?

As we continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, here’s today’s link to continually-updated news on the Russian invasion:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/zelenskyy-video-cheered-at-pro-ukraine-rallies-across-europe-live-updates

Among the major stories: A U.N. agency estimates that 1.45 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began. Russia denied an accusation that it violated a temporary ceasefire to protect safe humanitarian corridors for evacuees. NATO rejected imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, calling it a “painful decision” but saying that NATO has a responsibility not to escalate the conflict into a wider European war by engaging with Russia in the air or on the ground. Putin said that any no-fly zone imposed by a third party would be viewed as “participation in the armed conflict.”

A reminder that with any fast-breaking news from a war zone, some stories will turn out to be incorrect through honest mistakes and others may be spin or outright propaganda. If journalism is the “first draft of history,” then this is a first draft written under an impossible deadline while bombs are going off, so take everything with a grain of salt until it’s confirmed.

It’s hard to believe that Washington, DC, would have to worry about a fertilizer shortage, but that’s the latest serious threat. Russia produces about 13% of the world’s supply of potash, phosphate and nitrogen for fertilizer. Prices are already rising astronomically, and Russia is reportedly considering withholding exports, which could create worldwide food shortages, if other nations continue their crippling sanctions. All that reliance on imports still looking like a good idea?

https://www.westernjournal.com/russia-strikes-back-western-sanctions-threatens-world-food-supply-heinous-move/

In a dramatic show of defiance, the entire staff of Russia’s Dozhd or TV Rain news channel ended their broadcast by walking off the set in protest of the government crackdown on journalists reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/russian-news-walks-crackdown-media

Friday, Putin signed a new law that could fine or jail journalists for up to 15 years for reporting "fake" news about the military and invasion that conflicts with statements from Russian officials. This includes using the words “war” or “invasion” to describe the war and invasion. TV Rain has been accused of "inciting extremism, abusing Russian citizens, causing mass disruption of public calm and safety, and encouraging protests" by reporting on the attack on Ukraine.

I’m grateful we live in a nation with free speech and the Bill of Rights to protect us from out-of-control tyrants who would bully the media into helping silence people under the guise of them spreading “misinformation” that might “cause confusion or sow mistrust” in the government. Thank God that could never happen here.

https://news.yahoo.com/surgeon-general-demands-data-covid-162442216.html

In a related story, CNN announced that it will stop broadcasting in Russia due to the new law making it illegal to air “fake news.” Decide for yourselves whether this is a protest or an admission of guilt.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2022/03/04/cnn-to-stop-broadcasting-in-russia-and-the-reason-is-hilarious-n1563873

Special counsels can be appointed at the state level, too, and it appears that one in Wisconsin has found evidence to confirm widespread election fraud.

The Wisconsin Assembly appointed Special Counsel Michael Gableman, a retired State Supreme Court justice, to investigate concerns about the 2020 election, and on Tuesday, his office issued its second interim report, which runs 150 pages. In Chapter 7, it confirms the conclusion of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office last fall that fraud occurred at Wisconsin nursing homes.

https://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/22/brandtjen/media/1552/osc-second-interim-report.pdf

It was the sheriff’s investigation that led to this broader one. Sheriff Christopher Schmaling held a press conference last October 28 at which lead investigator Michael Luell presented their findings. (Note that this hour-long press conference got mostly crickets from national media.) Luell explained that under Wisconsin election law, local municipalities must dispatch two special voting deputies, or SVDs, to residential care facilities to supervise the voting. These officials are tasked with personally delivering ballots to residents and witnessing the voting process. Under law, only a relative or an SVD may assist a resident with the voting process. Once the resident has voted, the SVD seals the ballot envelope and delivers it to the elections clerk.

This sounds like a great plan to preserve the chain of custody and discourage undue influence. Unfortunately, the sheriff’s investigation found that the Ridgewood Care Center in Racine violated every one of those requirements. Amazingly, the blame for this can be traced back to the Wisconsin Election Commission, whose members had allegedly taken it upon themselves to tell municipalities not to use the SVD system and to instead just mail ballots to residents. Such a directive would be illegal.

So it was up to staffers to help residents complete their ballots, and according to the sheriff, they “helped” them, all right --- improperly completing sections of the ballots, mishandling ballots and failing to secure them, and going beyond just reading the ballots to actively discussing the elections and candidates. In legal parlance, that is a no-no.

As Sheriff Schmaling said during his press conference, his investigation had covered only the Ridgewood Care Center, when Racine County was home to 11 such facilities, and Racine County is just one of 72 counties. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of these facilities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” he said. “We would be foolish to think for a moment that this integrity issue, this violation of the statute, occurred to just this small group of people at one care facility in one county in the entire state.”

Several days after their press conference, the Sheriff’s Office announced that they had forwarded their conclusions to District Attorney Patricia Hanson, recommending that five members of the Wisconsin Election Commission be charged with election fraud, including two felony counts. (Only one member was not cited.) Margot Cleveland has details on the specific charges in her report for The Federalist.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/03/wisconsin-special-counsel-finds-widespread-election-fraud-in-2020-nursing-homes/

You can probably guess what happened next, which is to say nothing –- no charges were filed. After several months, DA Hanson concluded that she “lacked jurisdiction” and had no authority to prosecute the commissioners because they don’t live in Racine County and didn’t issue the “allegedly illegal directive doing away with SVD.” So, we're confused, as the sheriff's investigation had concluded they did do that.

And after deciding not to charge the commissioners, Hanson couldn’t very well charge the staff at the nursing homes, could she? She reasoned it this way: “[I]t would be unfair for me to expect these health care professionals would better understand the election law in Wisconsin than the Wisconsin Election Commission.” Never mind that she should have had higher expectations for the WEC; after lowering the bar for them, she was able to lower it even farther for the nursing home staff. Case dismissed!

Here’s some of the fallout as reported by a local news outlet, just a few days before the special counsel dropped his report.

https://journaltimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/four-wis-prosecutors-considering-whether-to-file-charges-against-elections-commissioners/article_b928849a-965f-512a-920c-62f9527b0844.html

Fortunately it didn’t end with that DA, and we now have an eye-opening special counsel report. This would not have happened without the sheriff’s investigation, which had stemmed from a complaint by some individual about potential violations at just one nursing home. Moral: one person speaking up CAN make a difference.

And now, the special counsel apparently has the goods. “Rampant fraud and abuse occurred statewide at Wisconsin’s nursing homes and other residential care facilities,” his report says.

This conclusion came after his investigation of more than 90 nursing homes in five different counties. We’re talking about blatant violations of the election code by nursing home staff and administrators, such as illegal handling of absentee ballots, illegal assistance in marking ballots, illegally “witnessing” the voting, and possible forgery. According to the report, the fraud and abuse resulted ultimately from the unlawful acts of the WEC’s members and staff, because on June 24, 2020, they did issue that directive to mail the ballots to the nursing homes and just follow the rules for regular absentee voting by mail.

The special counsel found “improbably high voting rates” at nursing homes. He was even able to determine that some of the filled-out ballots did not reflect the intent of the nursing home residents. He found suspected forgeries of signatures and votes by people who had been judged incompetent and could not legally vote. He found votes "cast" by people who were unaware of their surroundings and didn’t even know what year it was.

The WEC had tried to use COVID to justify what it had done, saying they didn’t want seniors ”disenfranchised.” Special Counsel Gableman was stern in his assessment of that: “In no way was WEC’s mandating illegal activity a ‘solution’ to ‘disenfranchisement’ and to suggest that WEC’s actions were a good faith effort at doing so ignores the facts and the law.” He went on to point out that the problems he had found, resulting from their directive, WERE examples of disenfranchisement.

Gableman said that to get the full picture of the significance of the fraud, “a state-wide, complete audit of all absentee votes from all facilities” required to use the SVD system is necessary.

In the 2020 election, Wisconsin went for Biden by a margin of just 20,682 votes. Since about 92,000 people reside in Wisconsin nursing homes, the findings of this investigation cast “doubt on the election result” according to the special counsel report. The Wisconsin State Assembly might authorize Gableman to expand his audit, but that’s not official at this writing. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called the sheriff’s original investigation a “publicity stunt” and is highly unlikely to do anything with this one. That seems like a great reason for voters to show up in droves this fall and boot him out of office.

Incidentally, the report has chapters dealing with other issues in Wisconsin that we’ve discussed before, such as the infusion of money from Mark Zuckerberg and the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and potential violations of law concerning ballot security at dropboxes. Look for social media to flag discussions of this report as heretical and news outlets to trash it (Politico and BuzzFeed already have), even though it’s the product of a special counsel investigation and contains, presumably, facts.

For those who missed it or want more, here’s a full transcript…

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/full-text-biden-state-of-the-union-2022-transcript/ar-AAUunzu

Here’s video of the SOTU Address from whatever dimension it came from…

https://youtu.be/kTPN1sOkWs4

And here are some other reactions by people whose TVs were also apparently picking up the signal from The Twilight Zone. Here’s the Republican response by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds…

https://youtu.be/Ox47VV0olo0

(Incidentally, I don’t think it’s fair that these responses always get slammed for seeming stilted or underwhelming, no matter which party gives them. The speakers have to follow a SOTU with all the pomp, ceremony and mandatory applause and standing ovations, then speak into a camera in an empty room. It’s like being a stand-up comic who has to do his act with no audience.)

I didn’t watch this yet (my brain can only take so much abuse in one night), but here’s Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s SOTU response from the far, far hinterlands of the far left (Hmm, comments have been turned off for this video. Wonder why?)

https://youtu.be/w7z2MTqDon4

Even liberal media outlets had a hard time sounding enthusiastic, although they tried, bless their hearts…

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2022/03/02/the-liberal-media-reaction-over-bidens-state-of-the-union-was-forced-predictabl-n2603917?utm_campaign=rightrailsticky3

Spencer Brown at Townhall.com shares eight (only eight?) of the most absurd moments from the SOTU, from Chuck Schumer aborting a standing ovation to Biden warning us that a wall can’t keep out a vaccine to his praise for a “pound of Ukrainian people” who are “ready to fight with every inch of energy they have.” Apparently, they speak a slightly different language in the alternate universe.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2022/03/02/eight-absurd-moments-from-bidens-first-state-of-the-union-address-n2604012

Kira Davis had the official Redstate.com response:

https://redstate.com/kiradavis/2022/03/02/redstates-official-sotu-response-delivered-by-kira-davis-editor-at-large-n530282

Here are some comments from pundits, plus a CNN instant poll that showed that 41% of viewers had a “very positive” reaction. That sounds good until you learn it’s 10 points lower than last year’s and the lowest “very positive” rating in the past 15 years.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/02/even-cnn-had-to-acknowledge-the-problem-with-the-sotu-numbers-for-biden-n530351

And for those who enjoy conservative snark, scroll to the bottom and read toward the top as you relive the SOTU through the various live-blogs of it at Redstate, Townhall and PJ Media…

https://redstate.com/liveblog/2022/03/01/redstate-live-blogs-joe-bidens-first-state-of-the-union-address-n221

https://townhall.com/liveblog/2022/03/01/townhall-live-blogs-joe-bidens-first-state-of-the-union-n222

https://pjmedia.com/liveblog/2022/03/01/drunkblogging-the-2022-state-of-the-union-address-n219

Last night, President Biden gave his first State of the Union Address. At least, I think he did. I tuned in to watch, and something bizarre happened. I believe due to some weird atmospheric anomaly, my satellite dish picked up a SOTU Address by a totally different President Biden speaking from an alternate universe.

In this parallel universe, the alt-President Biden spent the past year strengthening international relations and the past few months working with our allies to get sanctions in place that have Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian invasion plans on the ropes. In our universe, our President Biden pulled a botched Afghanistan withdrawal without consulting our allies and signaled that America was an unreliable partner (there was also that business with the submarines that ticked off France.) Our Biden admitted just last week that the sanctions, which he waited too long to impose, didn’t work, as Putin enters his seventh day of ramping up his horrific assault on Ukraine.

In the alternate universe, a record number of new jobs were created last year. In this universe, people returned to their old jobs that were artificially shut down by the government, but we’re still millions short of where we were before the pandemic.

In the alternate universe, the House chamber was filled with unmasked people. In our universe, many kids are still forced to wear masks in school, despite even “Saturday Night Live” now admitting they made very little difference.

In the alternate universe, alt-President Biden promotes buying American and cracking down on illegal immigration. In our universe, Trump did those things and Biden called him a racist and a xenophobe.

In the alternate universe, inflation can be cured by ordering businesses to lower their costs while also forcing them to raise wages and pay much higher taxes. In our universe, inflation is caused by the government printing too much money, and wages and taxes actually are two of the biggest costs of doing business.

In the alternate universe, COVID is not a reason for Americans to be divided. In our universe, it’s a reason to demonize people, fire them from their jobs, and refuse them medical care.

In the alternate universe, Biden denounces illegal immigration and skyrocketing crime and calls for more funding for police and gets standing ovations from the Democrats. In our universe, Biden opened the borders, denounced our border guards as whip-cracking racists, wants to tear down the border wall, and secretly disperses illegal aliens by plane all over America under cover of darkness. And the crime waves are in Democrat-run cities where leftist DA’s have actually made crime legal while Democrats defunded the police. Democrats applauding our Biden for vowing to crack down on illegal immigration and fund the police would be like a gang of arsonists applauding their leader for vowing to do something about the problem of how it’s getting really hot in here.

In the alternate universe, President Biden will take action to reduce the cost of insulin. In our universe, Biden reversed a Trump executive order that reduced the cost of insulin.

In the alternate universe, Biden will take swift action to fix long-standing problems like infrastructure and veterans’ care that in our universe dragged on for eight long years under Obama and Biden.

In the alternate universe, “Build Back Better” and the federal takeover of elections are apparently still alive.

In the alternate universe, the Trump-era tax cut benefited only the ultra-rich. In our universe, it gave a huge amount of tax relief to the poor and middle class, with many having their income tax burdens eliminated entirely, while the rich ended up paying a larger percentage of taxes.

The alt-VP Harris stands and applauds the ideas of cracking down on crime and funding the police. Our VP Harris raised money for a fund to bail rioters out of jail.

In our universe, the people looking at an empty chair where family members used to be included the families of 13 military members needlessly killed in Afghanistan. Since they weren’t mentioned, I assume (and hope) that never happened in their universe.

And the most glaring differences of all: in the alternate universe, the state of the union is strong, and President Biden is competent, popular, gets thunderous applause and standing ovations, and can talk for a solid hour. Oh, and Ukrainians are known as “Iranians.”

Now, the big question: How do I get out of this universe and live in that one until 2024?

The polls have Democrats looking forward to the November elections with as much optimism as bugs look forward to a visit from the Orkin man. So between now and then, their friendly media will be trying to gaslight us in all sorts of ways to convince us that they’re not responsible for the messes they’ve created. You’ll be expected to believe that they never went overboard with COVID restrictions, that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is responsible for Putin invading Ukraine, and that most Democrats in Washington are patriotic moderates who don’t back the far-left radical ideas pushed by “The Squad.”

When you hear that, remember this:

In a move that some pundits are calling “a gift to Republicans,” Senate “Majority” Leader Chuck Schumer forced a show vote on a bill that would have made it legal to perform abortions at any time. It would have wiped away every state-level protection, making it legal to kill a child in the womb at nine months if a doctor says there’s a risk to the mother’s health -- despite the fact that obstetricians say there’s almost no circumstance under which an abortion at that stage is less dangerous to the mother’s health than birthing the baby.

As of that weren’t radical enough, check out this, from the Fox News write-up:

“The bill also claims that abortion rights qualifies as ‘reproductive justice’ seeking to address ‘systems of oppression, lack of bodily autonomy, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.’ While the bill claims that abortion restrictions ‘are a tool of gender oppression,’ it also clarifies that despite using ‘the terms ‘woman’ and ‘women,’’ legislators intend to ‘protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy—cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others—who are unjustly harmed by restrictions on abortion services.’”

That’s right: it’s “racist” to oppose abortion, even though blacks make up 14% of the population but black women get 36% of all abortions. Since Roe v. Wade, about 20 million black babies have been killed by abortion, more than the entire black population of America in 1960.

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/02/25/abortion-the-overlooked-tragedy-for-black-americans/

And here’s now all those “moderate” Democrats voted: The House already passed it 218-211, with every Democrat except Rep. Henry Cuellar supporting it. And in the Senate, it was blocked by filibuster from coming to a vote by 48-46. Six Senators didn’t vote. Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to join Republicans in voting against it. And Manchin and Bob Casey (who did vote to bring it to debate) were the only Democrats who didn’t co-sponsor it.

How do these allegedly moderate Democrats who sponsored and voted for it compare to average Americans? A recent Marist poll found that only 17% of Americans think abortion should be available at any stage of pregnancy, as do only 31% of Democrats. The Democrats in Congress are so far left, they’re even out of touch with other Democrats.

So when you’re voting in November, unless you’re voting for Joe Manchin or Henry Cuellar, remember that all that talk about moderate Democrats in Congress is, as our President would put it, “malarkey.”

Wisconsin 2020 Update

March 2, 2022

It’s too late to make any difference now, but in Wisconsin, which Biden won in 2020 by less than 21,000 votes, an audit led by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman found so much corruption that Gableman said legislators should consider decertifying the vote.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2022/03/01/2020-wisconsin-vote-should-be-decertified-investigator-says-n1562797

Gableman’s investigation found problems with drop boxes, ballots gathered from nursing homes, and with the $9 million given to election officials solely in Democrat districts by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, which violated the state’s bribery laws.

Margot Cleveland at the Federalist has more details.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/01/breaking-special-counsel-finds-mark-zuckerbergs-election-money-violated-wisconsin-bribery-laws/

While there’s no mechanism for changing the outcome of the election at this point, this report is valuable because it shows the weaknesses that were exploited in the last election and how the election system needs to be reformed and security tightened. Indeed, as Matt Margolis at PJ Media notes, at least 10 states have already moved to ban or restrict the “Zuck Bucks” that were used to influence partisan turnout in 2020.

It also gives Americans all the more reason to do a little suspicious grumbling when their social media accounts are shut down for spreading “dangerous misinformation” if they express any doubts about the integrity of the last election. I have doubts about the integrity of a lot of things, and that’s just one of them.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, as Vladimir Putin’s unconscionable attack has entered its seventh day of escalating force and violence. Sen. Marco Rubio says Russia has launched its largest air assault so far. The mayor of the port city of Mariupol reports mass casualties. So far, over 7,000 Russians have been arrested for protesting the invasion. Fox News has a continually updated page of the latest news, which you can find here:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-day-7

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy called it “beyond humanity” that a Russian air strike destroyed the Holocaust memorial in Kyiv. He had more to say that everyone should read about the horrors and waste that Putin is visiting not only on Ukrainians but on his own troops, 6,000 of whom have already died while attacking their neighbor when they don’t even know why they’re doing it.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/zelenskyy-russian-missile-attack-holocaust-memorial

One bit of good news: that “elite Chechen hit squad” Putin reportedly sent into Ukraine to assassinate President Zelenskyy has been “eliminated.” The Ukrainians got a tip from sources inside Russia’s Federal Security Forces, so apparently, some people in Russia’s government also think their leader has gone off the rails. Thanks to the tip, Ukrainian forces reportedly identified, engaged and destroyed the two Chechen death squad teams.

This is an interesting article by Tom McTague in the Atlantic, about how Western nations are rallying to support Ukraine and its courageous President Zelensky without actually getting into the fighting themselves.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/02/volodymyr-zelensky-courage-ukraine-russia/622948/?utm_source=feed

He makes the point that Zelensky has suddenly come to embody many old-fashioned Western virtues reminiscent of great men of the last century like Winston Churchill: those who were willing to stand and fight against impossible odds for their country and their independence.

For too long in America and other Western nations, we’ve allowed these traits that should be celebrated to be denigrated and for heroes like Churchill to be maligned and “canceled.” Now that we’re seeing one rise in front of our very eyes, people worldwide are rallying to support him. They can see the truth about what’s good and right when it’s not at a distance and being obscured by lies and propaganda. It’s as if nobody needs an old-fashioned hero – until we need one. This has prompted some commentators to ask how we can expect our leaders to fight for traditional Western and American values when they don’t even believe in them themselves anymore.

Of course, this is the Atlantic, so McTeague gets some things wrong due to political bias (for instance, it’s idiotic to claim that the “Trump view of the world” is that China and Russia are no worse or better than the United States. If any politician of recent years believed in American exceptionalism and calling out bad guys on the international stage, it was Trump, and he was roundly attacked for it.) But if you’d like some food for thought, this is at least a good appetizer.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its sixth day Tuesday, with Putin showing no signs of backing off despite worldwide condemnation, accusations of war crimes, and banking and oil sanctions devastating the Russian economy and sending the ruble plummeting in value. Even Switzerland dropped its famous neutrality and cut off Russian access to Swiss banks.

This is the link for the latest bulletins from Fox News:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-day-6

With his belief that this would be a quick and easy invasion blowing up in his face, Putin seems to be getting more dangerously angry and irrational. He’s even put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert. This article by Dennis Santiago at Redstate.com contains valuable information about the relative strengths of the Russian and Ukrainian forces, Putin’s thinking and his tragic miscalculations, and what should be done next to get him to climb down.

https://redstate.com/dennis_santiago/2022/02/28/analysis-as-russias-ukraine-campaign-struggles-the-west-must-neuter-putins-nuclear-threat-n529736

Here are some of the latest developments: The European Union accepted Ukraine’s emergency application for admission, which would allow it access to Europe’s power grid and ally it further with the rest of Europe against Russia.

Satellite images show Russia has sent a 40-mile convoy of “killing machines” to threaten the capital city of Kyiv, and Russia state media are warning of imminent attacks on the city.

Elon Musk sent a shipment of his Starlink Internet terminals to Ukraine at President Zelinsky’s request, to restore Internet access cut off by Russia.

https://nypost.com/2022/02/28/elon-musks-starlink-satellite-internet-terminals-arrive-in-ukraine/

There is a claim that a militia of mercenaries known as the Wagner Group has been flown in from Africa with orders to kill President Zelinsky and other prominent Ukrainians. Key line: “The Kremlin once again denied it has any influence over Wagner and suggested that (its reputed boss Yevgeny) Prigozhin only provides catering services to the Russian government.” I assume that “catering to Putin” means assassinating people.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10559811/Putins-militia-orders-kill-Zelensky-Blood-thirsty-mercenaries-Wagner-Group-revealed.html

The CEO of Shell Oil announced that Shell is cutting its business dealings with Russia and pulling out of the Nord Steam 2 pipeline project.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/shell-is-pulling-out-of-russia-dumping-gazprom-deal

Here’s a photo that went viral that gives you an idea of Putin’s unstable frame of mind.

https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2022/02/28/recent-photo-of-russian-president-vladimir-putin-suggests-that-theres-something-to-all-those-rumors-that-hes-losing-whats-left-of-his-mind/

And as I always remind you, breaking news from a war zone often is unreliable. It can turn out to be an honest mistake or well-disguised propaganda. For instance, we already mentioned that the Ukrainian troops on Snake Island who defied the Russian warship were captured, not killed as originally reported. We’ve also learned that the former Miss Ukraine hadn’t actually joined the fighting but just posed with a prop rifle in a show of support. But all things considered, I'd still rather have her fighting beside me than Justin Trudeau. There are other stories, too, that we didn’t cover but that have since been debunked or amended. The National Pulse rounds up a few, some of them actually from movies or video games.

https://thenationalpulse.com/2022/02/28/pro-ukraine-propaganda-floods-social-media/

As he often does, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates succinctly summarized the Ukrainian crisis, telling CNN’s Fareed Zakaria “Our long holiday from history is over.” He should know, having long shaped the structure that suddenly collapsed when Putin savagely invaded an inoffensive, neighboring republic. In a flash, seven decades, innumerable precedents, conventions, untold trillions in defense expenditures, and a pervasive sense of peace vanished in the roar of missiles reaching their targets.

The burning question: How long could the courageous but over-matched Ukrainians hold out before Admiral Nelson’s famous dictum caught up? “Numbers annihilate.”

But from the conflict’s first hours, Ukrainian fighters seemed determined to walk a hero’s path running from Bastogne and the Alamo back to Thermopylae. Thirteen Ukrainian border guards achieved immortality when their wonderfully obscene response to a Russian warship quickly galvanized global websites. There were startling reports of Russian transports being shot down, of armored columns ambushed and destroyed. Yet even as the bristling combined arms force bore down on him, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskiy provided a classic demonstration of courage under fire, coolly dismissing an American attempt to evacuate him. “I need ammunition, not a ride!”

Defying early assumptions of Russian cyber-war, the global info-sphere instead carried resounding messages praising Zelensky and his embattled cohorts, while universally condemning Soviet-style aggression. That’s the thing about genuine heroism: Its blinding light immediately reveals and shames anything less. That is why, as the war grinds into its second week, Vladimir Putin is in real trouble. Not only has the outside world turned against him - the ruble plunging to all-time lows - but internal dissent is growing, thousands of peace demonstrators arrested on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. A star Russian athlete even used his television time to write “No war, please” on the camera lens. Were these people no longer afraid of the gulag and the dreaded secret police?

Far more serious was Putin’s chilling announcement that Russian nuclear forces had been placed on high alert. Was this anything more than an obvious intent to intimidate, invoking the nuclear genie to distract from Russia’s lack of progress on the ground? If so, it didn’t deter Germany - Europe’s center of gravity - from announcing that it would now support the Ukrainian resistance with anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons. Berlin’s stunning reversal - from what had been a deeply ambiguous neutrality - may have been a mortal blow to Putin’s reputation for winning by intimidation. With growing diplomatic and economic reversals now added to military ineffectiveness, there were immediate questions about the strongman’s own survival. Senior American officials like Condoleezza Rice were even wondering about Putin’s mental stability.

So is he crazy or just incapable of making sound decisions? Either way, one looked for answers from Russian history, where popular “elections” mostly ratify previous decisions of the ruling elites. So it was that Nikita Khrushchev, in October, 1962, boldly gambled and placed Soviet missiles in Cuba: but he was forced to withdraw them when confronted by President Kennedy, backed by American military might. Not many months later, Khrushchev was gone, quietly replaced because of his “adventurism” in Cuba. So why should Putin’s fate be any different?

That answer may well depend on the battles now immediately before us. Russia can reinforce its advantages in armor, artillery, hyper-baric rockets and long-range fires to trash major population centers like Kharkov and Kiev - all of it viewed in exquisite detail by an aroused global audience. NATO countries on Ukraine’s borders can reinforce the resistance by covert infiltration routes - also subject to Russian counter-attacks and increasing risks of escalation. The courageous persistence of Ukrainian fighters has already been established: but how long before Nelson’s Law takes effect? Can they win a longer insurgency?

It is a dangerous time, perhaps our most perilous since the Missiles of October, but there is no conceivable way of turning back. Watching these events unfold over this momentous weekend, I kept comparing Putin to the mad Inspector Javert from “Les Miz.” A single tune kept replaying in my mind and perhaps you heard it too:

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing a song of angry men?

It is the music of a people

Who will not be slaves again!

NOTE: Colonel Allard is the author of Command, Control and the Common Defense, winner of the 1991 National Security Book Award. After leaving active duty, he became an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News

Don't Blame Trump

February 27, 2022

For anyone foolish or desperate enough to try to blame Donald Trump for Vladimir Putin choosing to invade Ukraine while Biden is in office (looking at you, Hillary), here’s some video from a 2018 NATO summit meeting where then-President Trump called out European leaders to their faces for not contributing enough to beef up NATO defenses and for enriching Putin by letting themselves be so dependent on Russian oil and gas.

https://www.westernjournal.com/video-trump-2018-spreads-like-wildfire-proof-wanted-hurt-russia-nato-nothing/

FYI: If you’d like to know who’s really responsible for Putin’s well-stocked arsenal and his sway over European nations through control of their fuel supply, read this:

https://the-pipeline.org/how-the-greens-brought-war-to-ukraine/

It’s about how the environmentalist Green Party movement became so powerful in Europe that grown-up politicians quaked when Greta Thunberg said, “How DARE you” to them. They started shutting down clean nuclear power plants and relying on windmills and sunbeams. And when Biden decided the climate was a bigger threat than Russia and shut down our energy industry, Europe (and, incredibly, the US) were left dependent on Russian oil.

And here’s Mark Thiessen with the American perspective on how Biden’s war on fossil fuels has weakened America and strengthened Putin. I’m amazed that this appears in the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/24/biden-climate-gas-prices-russia-sanctions

The far-left group Occupy Democrats has come out strongly in support of armed Ukrainians using personal weapons, including automatic rifles (I’m guessing they mean semis) to stand up against the Russian invaders.

https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2022/02/25/occupy-democrats-are-big-supporters-of-a-heavily-armed-citizenry-in-ukraine/

So if you’re keeping score, to leftwing Democrats, the Second Amendment is good – but only in Ukraine.

And an armed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny and invasion. But only in Ukraine.

A reminder: we can’t offer up-to-the-minute news on Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but Fox News has continuously updated bulletins here:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/ukraine-russia-invasion-news

As Russia’s assault on Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv continues, it’s going slower and much bloodier than Putin probably expected. The hard fighting, reports of rising deaths (including children), and video of destruction of civilian areas of the city are also inflaming opposition to Putin, even among Russians who have been cowed and misinformed by their state media.

If Putin thought the Ukrainians would be awed by his mighty firepower and meekly surrender like a Russian TV reporter swooning over his bare torso, he gravely miscalculated. Many are staying to fight with personal weapons or rifles provided by the government, and the Ukraine military is also holding defense lines and drawing blood. It’s always risky to accept any breaking news from a war zone, particularly when both sides have good reason to spin the facts their way. But Ukraine claims they have inflicted casualties of 2800 Russian troops, 80 tanks and 516 armored vehicles just in the first two days, making it one of the costliest military actions Russia has ever suffered in such a short time.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is proving to be a brave and inspiring leader, refusing an offer from the US to help him evacuate. He reportedly told a senior US intelligence official, “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.” Meanwhile, Biden’s sanctions on Russia were so weak that the Russian stock market rose after he announced them. And he’s still resisting demands from Republicans that he restart our fossil fuel and pipeline projects he shut down, to take away the money and influence Russia has garnered by selling oil. Some US pundits are asking if we could trade Presidents with Ukraine, but I seriously doubt Ukraine would go for that deal.

It sounds as if the person who made the most accurate prediction of how an invasion might go down was Kurt Schlichter. In addition to being an attorney and humorous topical columnist, he’s also a retired military officer who served in Eastern Europe. He wrote recently that he knew Ukrainian fighters, and they were really tough and would not simply surrender and let Russia take over their homeland. Here are some heroic examples of what Putin is finding himself up against:

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/25/this-is-courage-in-ukraine-n527868

As Russia discovered in Afghanistan, it’s one thing to invade another country, but it’s quite another to hold it when everyone around you is willing to die to kill you.

How to help Ukraine

February 26, 2022

If you would like to help the men, women and children of Ukraine who have been forced to flee their homes to escape the Russian attack, Fox News has information on three vetted charities that are rushing aid to the refugees:

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/how-help-people-ukraine

Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit also has a suggestion sent along by a friend: the US should offer to take in up to a million Ukrainian refugees. He says that since Eastern Europeans vote overwhelmingly rightwing, it would be interesting to see the Democrats suddenly turn on a dime and argue that America just can’t accept any more immigrants and refugees.

https://instapundit.com/505550/

Hats off to this interviewer

February 26, 2022

Hats off to Irish news interviewer David McCullagh for giving our media a lesson in how to deal with a subject who’s clearly lying to their faces. This article about his interview with Russia’s ambassador to Ireland contains some good background on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, but is also a primer on Russia's phony rationalizations for the invasion and how to destroy them live on air.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/ireland-news-host-rte-mccullagh-russia-ambassador-filatov-ukraine-war-invasion

Here’s an excerpt that’s a textbook example of a lying government official caught dead to rights: The Russian ambassador claims the invasion was “not our choice.” McCullagh fires back, “Your forces have invaded a sovereign nation. It absolutely was your choice.”

“Well, it was not our preferable choice…”

Reeder: RIP Sally Kellerman

February 26, 2022

I’m sad to have to report that Sally Kellerman, the beautiful, lanky actress with the smoky voice, died Thursday at 84 after a five-year battle with dementia.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/sally-kellerman-dead-hot-lips-houlihan-mash-1235099282/

She made her movie debut in 1957 in the crime drama “Reform School Girl,” and over her long career, appeared in many TV shows, movies and plays, from “That Girl” and “Star Trek” in the ‘60s through “Columbo,” “Evening Shade” and “Murder She Wrote,” all the way up to “The Young and the Restless,” for which she scored a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2015. Her movies included “The Player,” “Brewster McCloud,” “A Little Romance,” “The Boston Strangler” and “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”

But of course, she will always be remembered for her two most famous roles: Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the original movie version of “M*A*S*H” and the teacher Rodney Dangerfield fell for in the classic comedy, “Back To School.” She said when fans saw her in public, they either yelled, “Hey, Hot Lips!” or Rodney’s famous pickup line, “Call me when you have no class!”

Since you count on me for the information other obituaries leave out, here are two cool stories about Sally Kellerman: She recalled being nervous about doing the famous nude scene in “M*A*S*H” where Hawkeye and Trapper dropped her shower tent as a prank. To help capture a genuine look of shock and surprise on her face, when the tent fell, Gary “Radar O’Reilly” Burghoff (the only actor to repeat his character on the TV series) was standing beside the camera, also naked.

Also, of special interest to me, since I co-wrote “Hollywood Hi-Fi,” the history of celebrity singer records (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com), is that Sally Kellerman was a terrific singer. That was her original ambition, and her smoky voice was so good, Norman Granz of the legendary jazz label Verve offered her a contract when she was only 18. But she was too young and lacking in self-confidence to sign. After establishing herself as an actress, she returned to singing in jazz clubs and cabarets and put out two albums, "Roll With the Feelin''' in 1972 and "Sally" in 2009. One of her biggest regrets was rejecting a role in a Robert Altman movie that later turned out to be "Nashville" and would've given her both a prestige role and a chance to sing on screen.

To show how good she was, here's 15 minutes of her cabaret act from 1977. RIP to a beautiful and talented lady.

https://youtu.be/LbVYY7X1XR4h

Russia Advances on Kyiv

February 25, 2022

Because of the fast-moving nature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I can’t give up-to-the-minute updates in our newsletter. But Fox News has a page that features the latest bulletins. Bookmark it and check in regularly to stay up to date:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russian-forces-attack-kyiv-explosion-wracks-ukrainian-capital-live-updates

In the meantime, please keep praying for the people of Ukraine. To cover what’s happened since yesterday:

Russia launched an air, sea and ground attack, targeting the capital of Kyiv and the second-largest city Kharkov, and launching troops north from Crimea. President Zelensky reported 137 Ukrainians killed and over 300 wounded on the first day. Among the dead were 13 far-outnumbered soldiers on Snake Island, who when ordered to surrender by a Russian military ship, responded with a message that I can’t repeat here, but that I am sure will be remembered in the annals of military bravery for eternity.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2022/02/25/russians-ordered-thirteen-ukrainian-soldiers-on-snake-island-to-surrender-heres-n2603775

The Kremlin says that Putin is prepared to send a delegation to negotiate with Ukrainian officials about the “neutral” status of Ukraine, which basically means surrendering and installing a puppet government if they want to stop his army from killing innocent people.

Russia claims it’s now surrounded and cut off Kyiv from the outside world and captured an important cargo airport. It’s reported that saboteurs have entered some neighborhoods where shots and explosions have been heard. The mayor said, “The enemy wants to put the capital on its knees and destroy us." The city has entered a defensive posture, and it’s reported that Ukrainians are fighting back with personal arms.

The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister said he’s working with the General Prosecutor's Office on a war crimes case against Russia, citing attacks on a kindergarten and an orphanage as examples. He said, "We are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable." That would be more comforting if I believed that a thug like Putin who would attack a kindergarten and an orphanage cares what the Hague says about him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world, which used to be led by America, is still scrambling to formulate a response to the brutal Russian invasion.

https://www.westernjournal.com/nato-members-scramble-invoke-article-4-alliance-hasnt-taken-action-yet/

Some nations seem to be having difficulty even deciding which side they’re on. You’d think that Germany would have figured out by now that invading other people’s countries is bad.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/24/germany-spits-in-the-face-of-the-united-states-again-dares-biden-to-challenge-them-n527336

I am trying VERY hard not to criticize our President during a military crisis, but Ukraine’s President isn’t subject to that rule. He ripped the leaders of other powerful nations for “watching from afar” and imposing toothless sanctions while Ukrainians are fighting for their lives against a massive invading army.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukraine-president-throws-shade-biden-us-afar

Let’s just say that Biden’s response was not favorably reviewed as inspiring. It was noted that he contradicted his previous statements by claiming that he always knew sanctions wouldn’t deter Putin from invading.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2022/02/24/after-sanctions-on-russia-fail-biden-lies-about-why-he-imposed-them-n1561649

But then he went ahead and declared that there would be more sanctions. But they won’t include sanctions on Russia’s oil industry which provides the greatest source of revenue for funding Putin’s military. That’s because too many other nations are dependent on Russian oil.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/us-will-not-target-russia-energy-sector-with-sanctions

They’re so dependent on Russia for oil partly because they can’t get it from us, since Biden declared war on our domestic fuel industry in the name of “climate change,” a war he’s refusing to call off, even under a court injunction to do so.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/climate-change-biden-administration-freezes-new-oil-and-gas-drilling-leases-after-court-rules-against-key-tool/ar-AAU7HqZ?ocid=winp-st

...And even though it would give us a freer hand to deal with Russia if we weren’t also now dependent on buying over 600,000 barrels a day of Russian oil. As the Independent Sentinel reports, the Keystone Pipeline would have delivered 850,000 barrels a day, but Biden shut that project down and refuses to restart it.

https://www.independentsentinel.com/22-million-spent-daily-on-russian-oil-keystone-would-have-ended-it/

In short, it’s looking as if there will be a more effective response to Putin’s aggression from the general public than from our voluntarily-neutered leaders. For instance, despite Russia’s harsh oppression of dissenters (Putin is even less tolerant of dissent than Justin Trudeau), some Russians are willingly risking jail to take to the streets and protest the invasion.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/putin-made-have-overplayed-his-hand-by-invading-ukraine-experts

And while Putin has threatened the world with his notorious Russian cyberterrorists, the shadowy hacker group Anonymous seemingly has declared cyber war on Putin. They released a statement directed toward the Russian people saying that they know it’s hard for them to speak out against their government and that their planned smashing of Russia’s Internet servers is aimed entirely at Putin and his government, not them. Never thought I'd be on the side of Anonymous, but in this case, the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/hacking-collective-anonymous-declare-war-putin-russia-invades-ukraine

Deep in Denial

February 25, 2022

Speaking of cocooned leftists who are too deep in denial to accept the reality that there’s evil in the world worse than someone who doesn’t respect their preferred pronouns, the responses on Twitter to Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine have revealed them like a sudden spotlight. Nick Arama at Redstate.com rounded up some of the most jaw-droppingly insulated responses from people who are so spoiled and clueless that they see a potential genocide as an excuse to score “dunk” points about white privilege or unvaccinated people.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/24/crazy-meter-breaks-with-liberal-hot-takes-on-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-n527581

But when it comes to clueless leftists who are utterly impermeable to reality, bow down before the queen, Joy Behar of “The View.” Her biggest concern seems to be that World War III might put a crimp in her plans to vacation in Italy.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/rebeccadowns/2022/02/24/joy-behar-has-a-pretty-selfish-take-on-what-the-people-in-ukraine-are-going-through-right-now-n2603773

If it's any consolation, I'm sure there are millions of Americans who will also be very disappointed if Joy Behar can't go on vacation.

If you have never studied war, then the Russian aerial bombardments might have been shocking. So too the long lines of would-be refugees jamming every highway; even more, the horrid specter of blood-stained Ukrainian citizens desperately seeking to save their lives.

But having studied war for most of my adult life, particularly Soviet and Russian military science, the opening hours of the attack contained few surprises. Just as western analysts expected, the Russians opened with heavy missile bombardments against command-and-control targets. Shortly thereafter, armored forces moved smartly across border outposts, rapidly converging into strategic axes from three different directions. Their probable objective: a decapitation strike aimed at the capital of Kiev, where a Russian puppet would presumably be installed.

However, my dominant initial impressions were that the initial phases of the attack seemed short of the massive firepower - particularly artillery, the vaunted Red God of War - that has always commenced attacks since the Soviet era. As the progenitors of information warfare - explored as “radio-electronic combat” - one also would have expected Internet websites, GPS and all social media across Ukraine to have “gone dark” from the war’s first moments. Why did it not?

Remembering my days at NBC News, I watched as my latter-day successors sketched out the advances of Russian combat formations, some of which seemed more tentative than an all-out blitzkrieg. Occasionally, someone would note that Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. Actually, it’s even larger than Texas, which is where I live. Has anyone remembered to check the scale of those maps, remembering how quickly terrain can challenge even the most mobile ground forces? Remember above all: countries may be easy to invade but much tougher to conquer, particularly against insurgents who are well-armed and intent on selling their lives dearly. Bottom Line: We haven’t yet seen Russian “shock and awe” so stay tuned!

That said: My dominant Day One impression was that Joe Biden is horribly miscast as a wartime president. In his televised remarks from the East Room on Thursday, he mostly conveyed the impression that he was channeling Neville Chamberlain, holding out the forlorn hope that economic sanctions might achieve “peace in our time.” For the record, folks, there are only two kinds of sanctions: the ones that don’t work at all; and the ones that do but cause wars. So which ones are you announcing, Mr. President, and why on earth do you think Vladimir Putin regards you and the people around you with anything less than contempt? My friend Fred Fleitz, formerly Chief of Staff for the National Security Council, said yesterday that Biden needs to sack most of his national security team “because they are second stringers.” Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was one of several Fox analysts to recommend that Biden reverse his support of climate change and use American energy capabilities to drive Russian oil companies out of business.

I smiled when the Speaker said that. While teaching at West Point, I invited a visiting Texas oilman to tell my cadets something I hope they still remember. Raring back in his cowboy boots, the oilman pulled out his wad of greenbacks, brandishing a hundred-dollar bill. “You boys need to remember that the ultimate form of American power is NOT you and your M-16. It’s this thing right here!” Amen!

NOTE: Colonel Allard is the author of Command, Control and the Common Defense, winner of the 1991 National Security Book Award. After leaving active duty, he became an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News

A reader asks:

if AG Garland was to interfere with the Durham report, then wouldn't it protect Hillary Clinton instead of old Joe?

– MJ McCauley

Thanks, MJ, for your question. Although the Russia Hoax appears to have originated with Hillary and her close associates, Garland is well aware that the Durham investigation potentially implicates two U.S. Presidents, not just one scheming, pantsuited wanna-be. This will require some set-up.

As we’ve discussed, and as Charlie Martin analyzes in a new VIP report for PJ Media (“Quick and Dirty Durham Explainer”), one huge question is how Rodney Joffe’s company, Neustar, got its “sensitive arrangement” to “access and maintain” the servers of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). This access began under Obama during the campaign and continued during the transition after Trump’s unexpected win and, somehow, even into Trump’s term of office. So, we have to ask: how did Joffe win the contract to do this?

And what information was gathered? Durham’s motion just mentions DNS (Domain Name Service) lookups. These are what look up the interminably long internet addresses we’re really calling when we use the shorter, easier-to-remember-and-type domain names. As Martin explains this, it’s like an automatic Directory Assistance.

Joffe would retrieve these DNS lookups from the White House and send them to Team Nerd (that’s what I call them) at Georgia Tech, where they already had an existing project to look at large amounts of internet data and where they were trying to win a Pentagon contract –- that they later got. Their assignment: to develop a narrative tying Trump to Russia, to give to the “VIPs” Durham identifies as people at Perkins Coie and the Clinton campaign.

This kind of internet traffic is usually “anonymized,” which means people’s identities are concealed. But with his intelligence background, Martin says he’d “bet money” that anonymization can be reversed.

One fake narrative that ended up in the hands of the FBI and CIA was that Trump and his associates were using special “rare” Russian cell phones in the vicinity of the White House. Durham’s motion says the special counsel has no found no evidence for this allegation, but, of course, it didn’t have to be real to be weaponized against Trump at the time.

The rest of Martin’s article deals with details that we’ve already examined and will be familiar to you. He says Durham’s recent motion shows he “is laying out a case that Perkins Coie, through Sussmann and with the active participation of Marc Elias, purposefully MANUFACTURED EVIDENCE against Trump that factored into the four-year investigation into ‘Russian collusion.’” He wraps up with questions: “How many crimes is this? I honestly don’t know,” he says. “Perjury? Mail fraud? How many ways does it hit the Espionage Act? For mere mortals, it would be a long time in prison.”

Yes, prison. Martin’s background is intelligence, but he talked to “several lawyer friends” who told him this looks as though MANY laws were broken --- “too many to list.” The consensus was that there’s enough to “send mere politically unconnected mortals to Leavenworth for the rest of their lives.”

https://pjmedia.com/columns/charlie-martin/2022/02/23/quick-and-dirty-durham-explainer-n1561262

As mentioned, that report is “VIP.” But we also found an interesting piece –- more great reporting by Paul Sperry –- about Rodney Joffe that touches on his relationship with (yes) President Obama. The tech executive managed to have a “sensitive arrangement” with Obama’s White House despite being involved in a mail-order scam that sparked federal and state investigations.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2022/02/17/the_checkered_past_of_the_fbi_computer_contractor_who_spied_on_trump_816761.html

As Sperry points out, to get such a contract, Joffe had to pass a personal background check and obtain the government’s highest security clearances. The FBI has denied comment, but one factor could be that the scam was decades ago, and Joffe “reinvented himself” as a cybersecurity expert during the 1990s.

Still, he got involved with a company called PlasmaNet Inc. that has had to pay millions of dollars in fines for deceptive advertising concerning an online lotto scam. He’s even still listed on their board of directors. In spite of this, he was able to move to Washington DC and land “lucrative, security-related contracts with the FBI and Pentagon requiring top secret clearance.”

In 2006, he joined Neustar, which secures and maintains internet servers for federal agencies, including the White House. His position gave him access to the above-mentioned DNS logs, though these are proprietary. And he started advising White House officials, including President Obama, on cybersecurity matters. So now we’re starting to see how Joffe was acquainted with the President, how he might have landed a “sensitive” contract like this and how Obama might possibly have had knowledge of what he was doing to defeat Trump.

“By 2016,” Sperry writes, “[Joffe’s] access to proprietary internet logs became of interest to operatives for the Hillary Clinton campaign, who appear to have offered him a plum job in a Clinton presidency for help on an opposition-research project on Donald Trump.” (Recall that Joffe also mined data from Trump Tower and Trump’s Central Park West apartment building.)

Sperry does not speculate here about how Clinton’s “operatives” learned of his access to these proprietary logs.

Durham apparently has an August 2016 email from Joffe to Team Nerd privately confessing that he knows those “pings” between Trump Tower and Alfa Bank were “legitimate” and “just part of the marketing world.” He also has an email from Joffe’s lead researcher that says, “the only thing that drives us is that we just don’t like [Trump].” This researcher made it clear that he believed even the most salacious stories in the Steele “dossier.”

Sperry’s report lays out numerous criminal statutes that could be invoked. Really, it’s a must-read, as it has details we’re seeing for the first time about Durham’s focus on Joffe’s businesses, contracts and employees. It appears that Neustar as a company had “a level of involvement...that has not been explained.”

A career Justice Department official advised Sperry that Joffe “has friends in high places.” Not only did he personally advise President Obama, but he also was friendly with then-FBI Director James Comey and had done projects for him going back some 15 years. Logs show he visited Obama’s White House several times.

He’s admitted to a surprising lack of technical knowledge, saying he mostly just connects clients with resources they need. Durham apparently is looking at all those connections ---WHOEVER they might be. Given the ones we already know, plus the briefings Obama got from the FBI and CIA, it’s hard to believe that he and his Vice President were not aware on some level of what was going on. It’s up to Durham to get the evidence.

Of course, we've long known that both Obama and Biden were in the Oval Office on January 5, 2017 –- with Comey, Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and Sally Yates –- for a briefing on the “Russia” narrative and the Mike Flynn case. (Recall that Yates was surprised to learn Obama already knew Flynn's calls had been intercepted.) This piece by Mollie Hemingway from May 2020 takes on enormous new significance today.

Oh, yes, Durham’s scope has to include Obama and Biden, and this is one prosecutor whom Biden had better not try to get fired.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/obama-biden-oval-office-meeting-on-january-5-was-key-to-entire-anti-trump-operation/

Invasion for Real

February 24, 2022

As you surely know by now, last night, Vladimir Putin made good on his threat to invade Ukraine. There’s no hair-splitting about it, it’s a full-on military invasion, including tanks and troops crossing the border and the shelling of the capital city of Kyiv, the largest military attack in Europe since World War II.

Before I get into the details, the most important thing I can do is ask you to join me in praying for the safety of the Ukrainian people, for the return of peace, and although this may sound like too much of a miracle to ask, for Vladimir Putin to realize the evil of his actions and change his heart and mind.

I’m not going to attempt to update you on what's happening, because events are moving too fast. For the latest, here’s a link to a Fox News feed of continually-updated bulletins:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-us-allies-sanctions

As of this writing (early Thursday morning), there are reports of dozens of people dead. The leader of a Ukrainian emergency response organization said that it appeared Russia was targeting military locations and not civilians, although there is a crush of panicking civilians trying to evacuate. He said so far, Putin was doing exactly what he said he would do. His best case scenario was that he would just attack the military, install a Russian puppet government and pull back without targeting civilians.

Putin threatened that any countries that interfered in his invasion of Ukraine would face “the greatest consequences in history,” not making clear whether he meant cyber warfare, nuclear attack or something else. He also claimed he was reversing the “Nazification” of Ukraine, a bizarre claim considering Ukraine has a Jewish President and a large Jewish population. I wonder where he could have gotten the idea that an autocratic communist could justify crushing his political opponents simply by branding them as “Nazis” first.

Some who watched his TV appearance said he didn’t seem like the same Putin who’s smoothly played the media and attended summit meetings in recent years. No, he seemed like what he has always been: a former KGB thug and Stalin admirer who wants to reassemble the Soviet Union police state. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but too few people these days know real history. Is it only a coincidence that Putin waited to strike until February 23rd, the anniversary of the first mass protests of 1917 that kicked off Russia’s communist revolution?

Just as Russian media misleads the Russian people into thinking that NATO is a threat to Russian sovereignty (it’s actually a purely defensive force against Russian aggression; believe me, nobody wants to take over Russia, certainly not in February), many young people in America have been misled by their teachers into thinking that communism is just “people sharing” and the real evil in the world is the United States.

Well, kids, those Russian tanks and missiles are your rude awakening to reality. You finally get to see the real face of communism that the rest of us grew up with. It’s a tough way to learn what “violence” and “imperialism” really are, and it's not someone building a Chick-Fil-A on your campus.

Putin will do whatever he wants without regard for any threats from the US or NATO. He’s seen weakness, he’s waited for the perfect moment to strike, and after seeing us leave Afghanistan, he’s decided that this is it. And he’s not the only one. Yesterday, China defended Ukraine as an independent nation only so they could warn the world not to confuse Taiwan with one of those because it’s part of China. They went on to make a not-so-veiled threat that implies Beijing has also been emboldened by our weak dealings with Afghanistan and is watching closely to see what Biden does about Ukraine.

At this moment, we’re still waiting to hear what Biden plans to do, although last night, he did reimpose the sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline that he inexplicably lifted less than a year ago.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/biden-sanctions-nord-stream-2-pipeline-russia-germany

Maybe that will help bring down the estimated extra $1 billion a day that’s been flowing into Putin’s war chest thanks to high oil and gas prices brought about by targeting America’s fossil fuel industry.

The White House warned that due to the Ukraine crisis and coming sanctions, Americans might be seeing even higher prices at the gas pumps. Gosh, if only there were some way that America could produce its own oil and gas so we wouldn’t be reliant on imports from places like Russia.

There’s a lot more that I could say, but there’s an old tradition in America that’s been ripped up in recent years, but I think it deserves preservation: when America is facing a serious crisis abroad, Americans shouldn’t attack their own President. I think we all know why we, and the world, are in this situation now, so I don’t have to belabor it.

Let’s just say for now that I, and I hope all Americans, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and behind all those who stand up against this barbaric action by Vladimir Putin. And please, pray for Ukraine.


Romney was right about Russia

February 24, 2022

Say what you will about Sen. Mitt Romney, but he was right when he warned during the 2012 presidential campaign that Russia would be America’s biggest security threat. The media laughed, and Obama mockingly said that “the ‘80s called, and they want their foreign policy back.” Well, Romney just responded to the Ukraine invasion by saying, “The ‘80s called, and we didn’t answer.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/romney-obama-trump-biden-russias-invade-ukraine-80s-called-didnt-answer

He also rightly pointed out how predictable this was because Putin pulled similar assaults against Georgia and Crimea while Obama was in office, not that the media spent much time telling you about that.

Oh, but wait: Mitt just couldn’t get through his statement without taking a slam at Trump and trying to blame Putin’s aggression on Trump’s policy of putting “America First.” So close, Mitt…

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/02/23/mitt-romney-blames-shortsightedness-america-first-putin-invasion-ukraine/

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might be dominating the news, but whenever one story is taking all the attention, it’s important to ask oneself what other events might be going on behind the scenes. In fact, Hillary Clinton is surely asking herself that very question, as she can’t count on leaks from the special counsel’s office to tell her. Like the rest of us, she has to glean it from the deliberately detailed motions he files.

Recall that Durham was criticized by lawyers for Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann for putting so much detail in his “speaking indictment” against their client and the later motion about conflicts of interest. They created some unintentional humor by saying their client hadn’t lied to the FBI, but even if he did (!), the lie was immaterial so the charge should be dropped. They also asked that Durham’s entire section on “Factual Background” be struck from the record. (One wonders if that might be because Sussmann attorney Latham & Watkins LLP, in a huge conflict of interest, also represents some of the other people mentioned.) But Durham easily defended his inclusion of this section as material to the case.

The question remains, though: why would Durham put so much detail into his court documents at this time, weaving threads with people who haven’t yet been indicted? Former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI Kevin Brock, in an opinion piece for The Hill, speculates that after a year-and-a-half and just a few indictments against seemingly peripheral players, Durham might be seen as unproductive, and that this perception might give Attorney General Merrick Garland enough cover to shut down his investigation, as we all know he’s longing to do.

Brock, in a fine example of understatement, writes, “The Biden DOJ is not friendly to the goals of Mr. Durham.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/595235-john-durham-sent-a-message-to-the-attorney-general-and-the?rl=1

“If Durham were to be terminated,” Brock says, “the American people might not even push back much since no one had a clue whether his investigation was bearing meaningful fruit.” But now, the dots he’s connected to the Clinton campaign create quite a stunning picture. Besides providing us with some hope that there might actually be accountability in Washington DC, he also made it much harder for the President or the AG to dump him. Brock offers a brief history lesson on Nixon’s firing of Watergate independent prosecutor Archibald Cox, first accepting the resignations of both the attorney general and deputy attorney general for refusing to fire Cox. At the request of the White House, FBI agents came and sealed off Cox’s office, and those of the AG and deputy AG as well.

(In an interesting bit of trivia, by law the solicitor general acts as attorney general when the AG and deputy AG are absent, so Nixon told HIM to carry out the firing of Cox, and he did. That man was Robert Bork, who was later nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan. Bork’s approval process was the first really vicious one –- setting the tone for future disgraceful hearings such as Clarence Thomas’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s –- with Sen. Ted Kennedy twisting Bork’s opinions to say that “Robert Bork’s America” would be one of “back-alley abortions” and “segregated lunch counters.” Bork was rejected by the Senate, leading to the coining of the word “borked.” One of the senators voting against his confirmation was...yes, Sen. Joe Biden.)

I digress. Anyway, that series of firings, nicknamed the “Saturday Night Massacre,” did not end well for Nixon. Here’s the story as told by the Washington Post in 1973, back when it was a real news organization.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/102173-2.htm

Still, that situation was different from today’s, as Nixon’s AG, Elliot Richardson, and his deputy AG, William Ruckelshaus, were refusing to follow Nixon’s order to fire Cox. Biden’s AG, Merrick Garland, and his deputy AG, Lisa Monaco, are both such political hacks that either of them would fire Durham in a New York minute and not even wait for Biden’s order, thus leaving Biden in the clear. So it’s been important while we wait for the investigation to conclude that they not find any justification to fire him. That seems to be why we’re finally starting to hear compelling hints about the progress he’s made.

And now we know he’s put together the outlines of, in Brock’s words (which suit me fine), “a corrupt conspiracy by operatives linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The exposed conspiracy allegedly made a contrived, fraudulent and shocking attempt to entice the FBI and CIA to use their powers against the rival Trump campaign and presidency.” It should be noted that this wasn’t just an “attempt,” as Durham will show the FBI and CIA actually were involved. (The CIA is "Agency - 2.")

When Durham included specifics about “Tech Executive – 1,” identified as Rodney Joffe of Neustar, he signaled that at least one person under investigation had “flipped” and given up some information. That’s because much of the “Factual Background” had to come to him either from Joffe or from someone he approached for help in putting together the fake Alfa Bank story.

Right now, Democrats are trying to say that Joffe wasn’t “really spying” because he had an actual contract –- as Lucy said to Charlie Brown, “a signed document” –- to maintain the servers he lifted information from. Joffe gave proprietary government data to a civilian third party. It’s STILL SPYING. Getting the contract is just the way in.

Brock makes the case that Durham must be allowed to continue his work, and says “there will be more squirming to come in powerful circles.”

Speaking of squirming, we said months ago that “journalists” at The New York Times and the Washington Post should have to give back the Pulitzer Prize they received for their coverage of the Russia Hoax. Now the editorial board at the New York Post concurs, in an epic commentary. The “collusion” was revealed as a hoax, they said, “Yet the damage had been done. The liberal media had ‘destabilized U.S. democracy’ more than Russia ever could, by feeding left-leaning Americans a constant, false narrative that their President was a sleeper agent.”

https://nypost.com/2022/02/20/the-absurd-russiagate-pulitzer-of-the-ny-times-and-washington-post/

Something else to enjoy in light of the recent revelations about the Clinton campaign: from Byron York, here’s “A Guide to Clinton Dirty Tricks.” York, with his chronological approach, ties it all together well.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/byron-yorks-daily-memo-a-guide-to-clinton-dirty-tricks

Finally, Margot Cleveland takes what Durham has told us so far that ties in Hillary and says there is more coming. “’Russia Russia Russia’ was a Hillary Clinton enterprise,” she says. We know this because the special counsel has subpoenaed the DNC, the Clinton campaign (same thing), Perkins Coie and, apparently, Fusion GPS. They’ve obtained tens of thousands of relevant documents and prepared reports on over 100 interviews, including one with “a former employee of the Clinton Campaign.”

As Cleveland points out, the media will continue trying to bury whatever comes out of this investigation. Durham knows, of course, the only “win” he (and we) will have is indictments that stick. These people need to pay for their deception and for what they put our country through.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/21/4-special-counsel-revelations-tying-spygate-to-hillary-clintons-campaign/

Mask Hypocrisy

February 21, 2022

Those who insist on forcing children to wear masks indefinitely while flouting their own rules are not all big name politicians and celebrities. Sure, there are plenty of those, and their excuses are as feeble as they are hypocritical.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/rebeccadowns/2022/02/19/is-la-mayor-eric-garcetti-for-real-with-this-response-on-mask-hypocrisy-n2603535

Even their pet “fact-checkers” come off as clowns when they try to “ackshully…” their staggeringly obvious hypocrisy and privilege away.

https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2022/02/19/amazing-politifact-twists-into-a-pretzel-to-debunk-comparisons-of-unmasked-super-bowl-fans-to-kids-in-school/

But mask hypocrisy is hardly confined to A-listers. At a Montgomery County, Virginia, school board meeting, a mom accused a mask zealot board member of hypocrisy, proving it with a photo lifted from Facebook of the member maskless in a crowd.

The board member, like all petty tyrants from Justin Trudeau on down who claim they cherish “democracy” but hate it when the people actually speak up to them, accused the mom of libeling and disparaging (apparently, those are now synonyms for “describing”) a member of the school board, claimed she wasn’t focusing on “issues pertinent to children,” and ordered her to sit down. When she refused, he told a police officer to escort her from the building.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/social-media-erupts-after-school-board-member-storms-out-of-meeting-confronted-by-maskless-photo

But then, another school board member intervened, saying, "She should be allowed to say her piece. I've had to listen to people come and criticize me." At that, the first member stormed out of the room in a huff. Funny, I’m old enough to remember when liberals loved “speaking truth to power.” But then, that was before they came into power.

From the tsunami of support that mom is receiving locally and online, I bet she could easily replace that arrogant school board member in the next election, if she wants the job.

Lesley Stahl of 60 MINUTES owes President Trump a big-time apology.

For anyone who still hasn’t seen why she needs to apologize, here’s the video…

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/02/busted-will-vicious-leftist-lesley-stahl-apologize-america-trump-caught-lying-part-cover-largest-political-scandal-us-history/

Here’s the transcript…

https://www.detroitnews.us/2022/02/14/lesley-stahls-infamous-60-minutes-trump-interview-resurfaces-after-durham-filing-supports-spying-claim/

She needs to apologize for “correcting” Trump for saying he’d been spied on. We say this for a number of reasons, but mainly because special counsel John Durham says in court documents that he has evidence showing that Trump's campaign and transition actually WERE SPIED ON.

Think Lesley will realize her grievous error and come groveling? She won’t. She and her colleagues are too invested in thinking they’re right on this, even when they’re wrong, and The New York Times is helping them delude themselves. More on that in a moment.

Meanwhile, Mark Levin was blunt about the spying on his Sunday FOX News show, just as we have been for over five years: There’s been spying going on, he said, illegal and unconstitutional spying, against a President of the United States. “[Trump’s] campaign was spied on, his transition was spied on, his presidency was spied on. SPIED ON.” The media were part of it and are now trying to cover it up. It’s the greatest scandal in American history, Levin said, and Levin is a historian par excellence.

He speculated that President Obama “had to know a lot,” simply because he, Levin, knew a lot, and they both “read the same newspapers.” Plus, as President, Obama got briefings twice a day from the very agencies that were purportedly spying on a candidate who was in league with Putin. How could there not have been conversations about this? The idea that it wouldn’t have come up is preposterous.

Recall that Obama, in the last days of his presidency, gave the National Security Agency more latitude to share “globally intercepted personal communications” with the other 16 intel agencies, BEFORE applying privacy protections. Never mind the question of constitutionality –- why would he do this on his way out the door?

Levin spoke Sunday with former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe. The whole episode would be good to see if you missed it, but here’s the link just to that excellent interview.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6298183244001#sp=show-clips

Ratcliffe notes that “the mainstream media is trying to re-use [the report] as a way to...tamp down the idea that the Trump campaign wasn’t spied on because they can’t find the specific reference to that in something that John Durham puts in a federal pleading.”

Here’s something we hadn’t heard: Ratcliffe told Levin that on February 5, 2020 he questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, asking him “point-blank” if, since an FBI agent had lied and there wasn’t really a proper justification to spy on the Trump campaign, the Trump campaign had been illegally spied on. Wray said yes, it had happened, and it was illegal and “totally unacceptable.”

When Ratcliffe became DNI, he asked to see all the evidence there was on Trump-Russia collusion, and there was none. “But we had all kinds of intelligence about FAKE Russia collusion” that was part of what Hillary’s team created to smear Trump. In fact, Ratcliffe declassified then-CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes, in which Brennan mentions that he’s briefing Obama, Biden and Obama’s national security team on it.

He explained that even though some would like to dismiss this as political dirty tricks, when you start taking false allegations to government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA, trying to make it look authentic by opening an investigation, “that’s all sorts of criminal activity.” Lying, conspiracy, possibly racketeering. He knows Durham is looking at all that because they had conversations about it when he was DNI. But he emphasized that it can take a long time to put that kind of case together.

Durham is revealing more of the details now, Ratcliffe said, but the issue of whether or not this happened “has long been settled.”

Devin Nunes, in an appearance on FOX News’ “Sunday Morning Future” with Maria Bartiromo, pointed out that the committee he chaired, the then-Republican-led House Intelligence Committee, had carried out an investigation that led to 14 criminal referrals being made to the DOJ, even though they had to work largely with circumstantial evidence. This was because they “were misled or outright lied to by government officials.” Ratcliffe as DNI was able to declassify documents that now serve as direct evidence that Nunes’ committee should have seen.

Nunes also recalled the disinformation campaign that was run against members of his committee and all who disagreed with the Trump-Russia story. When anyone said the Trump-collaborating-with-Russia story was a hoax, the media would say, “Well, you must be a Russian agent!”

The difference now, he said, is that Durham is working with direct evidence. An example of new direct evidence Durham has would be the missing cell phones that have now turned up from IG Horowitz. (“Durham couldn’t even get to them...for a year and a half,” Nunes said.)

As Nunes explained it, “What they’ve creatively done here...is they set up legal avenues, using lawyers, to essentially launder all of this spying that was done and communicate to top FBI and DOJ officials. And Durham is starting to piece all of that together.” He hopes Durham can bring conspiracy charges, as he sees “a dozen or more laws” broken, “and people need to pay a price for it.”

“For sure by early 2016, all of the high-level people within the Obama-Biden administration knew about this,” he said. “...A lot of these Obama-Biden people have ‘failed upward,’ and they’re now in high-level positions...in the new Biden administration.” These include Biden’s national security adviser, the large-scale Russia Hoax perpetrator Jake Sullivan.

Nunes called this a “classic frame job” that went to all levels of government, “from the FBI to the Department of Justice, all the way through most of the intelligence agencies,” along with “the culpability and the involvement of the media.” This is what turned the already left-leaning media into “a propaganda machine for the left-wing party in America.”

Nunes said we don’t know what other direct evidence Durham has, but because he’s not putting out what he has in leaks but in very strongly-worded court documents, he finds it “hard to believe that he doesn’t have the goods on a lot of people.

“The question will be, how high can he go and who can he get? I think we all want to know that, but we need to let him do his job.”

So, at this point, why won’t Lesley Stahl finally apologize to President Trump for her mistake? Well, it most likely has to do with a collective self-delusion going on with the left. They cannot admit they were wrong about this. So The New York Times ran a laughable piece by Charlie Savage featuring Democrat talking points that he insists show Durham’s narrative to be “off track.” The usual suspects lapped it up: Vanity Fair, CNN, Jimmy Kimmel…

But Margot Cleveland saw it, too, and came back with a great commentary refuting it point by point. It’s a must-read...especially for Lesley Stahl, who still needs to apologize.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/18/5-media-lies-about-the-latest-special-counsel-revelations/

If Canada is going to allow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to turn a once-free nation into an autocratic police state, then Parliament will have to vote today to allow it. Trudeau wants to make many of his “emergency” powers permanent.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2022/02/20/democracy-dies-in-canada-trudeau-government-to-make-some-of-their-new-authoritarian-measures-permanent-n1560716

But the emergency powers act he invoked to crush the truckers’ freedom protesters can only hold for seven days unless Parliament votes to extend it, and may the eternal light of shame shine on any member who does.

There have been so many developments and so many outrages just in the past couple of days that I can’t list them all. Here are just a few: The arrests of protesters in Ottawa have continued, although some say they weren’t taken into custody, just driven out of town and released, and many of them returned. This is possibly because they weren’t actually breaking any laws so there wasn’t anything they could be charged with if they were taken to a police station.

It turns out that the elderly lady in a mobility scooter who was trampled by a police horse was an Indigenous People’s leader of full Mohawk heritage. Or as Trudeau would call her, “a white supremacist.”

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/20/heres-more-on-the-ottawa-freedom-convoy-woman-run-over-by-police-with-their-horses-n525440

The government crackdown on rights has gone so far overboard that people are having their bank accounts frozen just because they made donations to the truckers weeks ago before Trudeau even invoked his emergency, creating a new category of retroactive thought crimes.

https://instapundit.com/504817/

Coffee is also apparently insurrectionist. A café owner was reportedly threatened with arrest for serving coffee to truckers. And here’s video of police hitting a woman’s camera and threatening her for the crime of being from Alberta and trying to walk somewhere to buy coffee.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/20/watch-going-for-coffee-is-now-a-crime-in-ottawa-police-may-attack-and-threaten-you-n525362

This protest was never really about vaccine mandates (it’s reported that 90% of the truckers are already vaccinated.) It was certainly not about racism, as most of the truckers are minorities. It was about the heavy hand of the government crushing the people’s rights. If that wasn’t clear to begin with, it certainly should be now.

Instapundit has been doing a good job of rounding up all the latest stories and comments on this dark time in Canada’s history. You can find a lot more here:

https://instapundit.com/504808/

https://instapundit.com/504761/

And David Solway at PJ Media has a stark warning for Canadians titled “Requiem For a Nation.”

https://pjmedia.com/columns/david-solway-2/2022/02/19/requiem-for-a-nation-n1560630

I hope Canadians will read it because as Solway writes, it’s up to them whether events of the next few days miraculously save their Charter of Rights and Freedoms from being “nothing but an irrelevant scrap of parchment,” or whether “Canada has been transformed into a federal caricature” whose “leaders are unaccountable and depraved and the majority of the population, to quote Aristotle, 'are not capable of sufficient rational appreciation of political ends.'”

Finally, here’s a warning for Americans who think they can ignore what’s happening to our neighbor to the north: William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection says that Trudeau is following the same playbook that the left is following here to cement their own tyrannical rule: declare anyone who disagrees with them to be a lower class of “others” who hold “unacceptable views,” and have government collude with big tech, the financial industry and other systems that everyone relies on to shut their opponents out of the means of communication and the basic necessities of life.

It’s working in China, with their surveillance state and “social credit" system. If China’s too far away for Americans to see the dangers and stand up to stop it, then is Ottawa close enough?

Those of us old enough to recall the Reagan era (pardon me while I take a moment to remember it…Oh, well, back to 2022) will recall the famous “misery index.” Invented by economist Arthur Okun, Reagan used it to convince Americans to choose him over Jimmy Carter. It was a combination of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate, the two together serving as a gauge of how miserable people felt with prices rising even while work was hard to find.

Well, last month under Biden, the misery index reached 11.5%, the highest in a decade, even higher than in the early days of the pandemic.

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/polling/biden-misery-index-rise-americans-pessimistic-about-countrys-future

But I bet I know what you’re thinking: 11.5% seems awfully low, considering the widespread misery this Administration has created. Well, there are a few reasons for that. One is that it doesn’t include the many other ways the Democrats are spreading misery, like with open borders, skyrocketing crime rates and their never-ending assaults on personal freedom and individual rights. Another is that the unemployment rate is only 4%. But it seems much higher (and honestly is) because that stat only includes people who are actively looking for work, and not those who are living off government largesse. Also, unemployment claims “unexpectedly” jumped last week:

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/jobless-claims-coronavirus-pandemic-feb-12-2022

The third factor is that the bigger portion of the misery index, inflation, might be a high 7.5% (with no ceiling in sight), but that’s still a really lowball estimate. Boston columnist and radio host Howie Carr did a deep dive into how inflation is really affecting everyday Americans.

https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/02/16/howie-carr-biden-inflation-a-pain-at-the-pump-grocery-store/

It’s not just a “high-class problem,” as Biden’s smug chief of staff dismissively described it. Carr quotes many listeners who shared their horror stories about both inflation and the supply chain shortages, from having to drive from store to store searching for cat food as if on a treasure hunt, to a man who put $25 worth of gas in his truck and it didn’t even cut off the “low fuel” light.

Carr also points out that the government inflation figure is kept artificially low by not including two of our biggest necessities: food and fuel. He consulted a website called shadowstats.com that computes inflation using the more honest pre-1980 formula. Under that, current inflation is actually 15.63%, the highest since 1947. That was so long ago that Joe Biden was only five years old.

Even accepting the artificially-low 4% unemployment rate, that would put the current misery index at nearly 20%. Yes, that feels a lot more accurate to me. Incidentally, the misery index hit a high under Jimmy Carter of 21.9%, but if anyone can break that record, I have faith that Biden can.

Michael Sussmann’s attorneys at Latham & Watkins –- the firm that has also represented the Hillary campaign, Hillary for America, The Clinton Foundation, Marc Elias, the law firm Perkins Coie, and seemingly just about everybody else being looked at by Durham –- have filed two motions this week, one on Monday requesting that Durham’s “Factual Background” on the case be stricken from his motion filed last Friday, and the other yesterday for a dismissal of the charge against Sussmann. In essence, they’re saying, “Our client did NOT LIE! And even if he did, his lie wasn’t material to the overall case, so it’s not actually criminal.” Pretty amusing, really.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/17/breaking-sussmann-attorneys-make-big-move-in-durham-case-n523620

RedState.com says “a closer look at the request shows it to be much more of a desperate heave into the end zone than a play expected to succeed.”

Sussmann’s attorneys call the case “extraordinary prosecutorial overreach” and even say the indictment “fails to state an offense.” They write, “It has long been a crime to make a false statement to the government. But the law criminalizes only false statements that are material --- false statements that matter because they can actually affect a specific decision of the government.” False statements about “ancillary matters” are “immaterial and cannot give rise to criminal liability.”

Amazingly, they’re telling Durham that Sussmann was visiting the FBI and the CIA just to give “tips” (actually the fake Alfa Bank story) and that the fact he was working for --- and billing --- the Clinton campaign was immaterial. “Allowing this case to go forward would criminalize ordinary conduct,” the motion says, “raise First Amendment concerns, dissuade honest citizens from coming forward with tips, and chill the advocacy of lawyers who interact with the government.” Oh, goodness, surely the special counsel wouldn’t want to criminalize ordinary conduct, like peddling a fake story to federal investigators and lying to them about why!

It sure looks like a last-ditch effort to us. This is what you use when you don’t have anything else.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/17/michael-sussmanns-motion-to-dismiss-is-a-flaming-pile-of-garbage-n523722

As for trying to get the case dismissed, RedState points out that it’s the defense’s job to try to do that. They predictably came up with a way, but one that’s not compelling. “The existence of this motion does not in any way serve as evidence that Durham’s case against Sussmann is specious,” ‘Bonchie’ says. “In fact, a closer look at the filing shows it to be incredibly weak.”

How could Sussmann’s tip about Alfa Bank be “ancillary” to the FBI’s decision to investigate Trump, Russia and Alfa Bank? By presenting himself as a tipster, not a Clinton campaign lawyer –- which involved lying in answer to a direct question –- he made himself and his allegations seem more credible. And that would be, or at least should be, extremely material to the FBI’s decision on whether to open an investigation.

As RedState reminds us, Michael Flynn’s so-called “lie” to the FBI “did not appear to be material about much of anything,” and George Papadopoulos’s simple mix-up of dates didn’t, either, yet both of them were prosecuted. Those examples set the bar very low for a statement being “material.”

Sussmann’s attorneys also argued that Durham had used false and irrelevant allegations “plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.” Apparently, Durham was expecting these arguments to be made.

RedState cautioned that left-leaning “legal analysts” should wait until Durham has had a chance to respond before rushing to praise the defense’s motion to dismiss.

At the time of this writing, we’re still waiting on that response, but news broke Thursday evening about his no-nonsense response to the motion Sussmann’s attorneys filed earlier, the one to strike Durham’s “Factual Background” on the case.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/durham-no-basis-strike-factual-background-filing-denies-intent-politicize-sussmann-case

“This court should deny the defendant’s motion,” Durham said. “If third parties or the media have overstated, understated, or otherwise misinterpreted facts contained in the government’s motion, that does not in any way undermine the valid reasons for the government’s inclusion of this information...Moreover, any potential prejudice or jury taint arising from such media attention can effectively and appropriately be addressed through the voir dire process during jury selection.”

We would add that this is the job of attorneys for both sides during jury selection. There will be plenty of media attention knocking the Durham investigation --- arguably much more than we’ll see that's positive --- so doesn’t that “taint” the jury pool as well?

Sussmann’s motion on Monday said that Durham’s allegations in the “Background Information” section of his filing last Friday, such as Rodney Joffe’s use of a “special arrangement” to obtain data from otherwise highly secure email servers for the President’s office, should be stricken. But Durham, in his response on Thursday, confidently defended his use of those details:

“The government included two paragraphs of limited additional factual detail in its motion for valid and straightforward reasons,” he wrote. “First, those paragraphs reflect conduct that is intertwined with, and part of, events that are central to proving the defendant’s alleged criminal conduct. Second, government included these paragraphs to apprise the court of the factual basis for one of the potential conflicts described in the government’s motion, namely that a member of the defense team was working for the Executive Office of the President of the United States during relevant events that involved the EOP [Executive Office of the President].”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/justice/durham-insists-snooping-evidence-valid-for-case-and-media-misinterpretations-dont-undermine-facts

Even with the explanation from Durham, Margot Cleveland wondered aloud on Thursday why he was being so forthcoming about certain facts in the case. “Why is Durham telling us this?” she asked. She said that if he had a nefarious reason, he would have done as the Mueller team did and leak selectively to friendly outlets. But Durham hasn’t been leaking at all.

She postulated that by putting some details of what he has in these motions, he “might prompt cooperation in a way that plea negotiations can’t.” Or perhaps he’s trying to make somebody nervous and incriminate himself. Or he hopes that by showing some of his cards, he’s making it “politically impossible” for the Biden administration to shut him down.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/feb/16/explosive-allegations-protect-durham-probe-being-s/

Or he’s trying to rattle the government by showing he’s a step ahead, as with IG Horowitz’ office after it failed to turn over cell phone evidence. Or he’s trying to keep “we the people” informed. Or it’s all of the above.

The DC Circuit Court generally looks with disfavor on motions to strike, she said, so it doesn’t look good for Sussmann’s defense on that. On the other hand, “How the court will rule is anyone’s guess at this point, but we will likely see a counter from Special Counsel Durham’s office first –- and maybe a few more hints on what is to come as well.”

Whenever we find ourselves generally on the same track with Margot Cleveland, we know we as non-lawyers are doing a pretty good job of sorting all this out. Read her analysis, and your legal IQ will go up about 50 points.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/17/special-counsel-john-durham-is-opening-up-about-his-spygate-investigation-but-why/

And something fall-down-funny she noticed: Sussmann’s lawyers actually cite Peter Strzok!

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/17/one-part-of-michael-sussmanns-motion-to-dismiss-will-have-you-laughing-out-loud-n523955

Project Veritas just released a new undercover expose video, this time on the FDA’s role in promoting COVID vaccines.

https://www.projectveritas.com/news/fda-executive-officer-on-hidden-camera-reveals-future-covid-policy-biden/

In the hidden camera footage, FDA executive officer Christopher Cole is shown saying that “from everything he’s heard,” it’s not probable but certain that the FDA will announce a policy that everyone must get annual COVID-19 shots forever, even toddlers. He said, “It hasn’t been formally announced yet ’cause they don’t want to rile everyone up.”

Referring to pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, Cole said, “It’ll be (a) recurring fountain of revenue. It might not be that much initially, but...if they can get every person required at an annual vaccine, that is a recurring return of money going into their company.”

Cole said, “The drug companies, the food companies, the vaccine companies, they pay us hundreds of millions of dollars a year to hire and keep the reviewers to approve their products. If they [Big Pharma] can get every person required at [to get] an annual vaccine, that is a recurring return of money going into their company.”

Cole admitted that “all the tests aren’t there” to prove safety or show the longterm effects of the vaccines, especially on children. When asked if there’s really an emergency requiring an Emergency Use Authorization to vaccinate children, he replied, “They’re all approved under an emergency just because it’s not as impactful as some of the other approvals” (i.e., it’s easier to get around regulations because the only standard is that it be more beneficial than harmful.) He predicted it would be a gradual thing, starting with schools mandating it.

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas said a part two of the expose is coming. For their part, the FDA released a statement saying, “The person purportedly in the video does not work on vaccine matters and does not represent the views of the FDA.”

Sure, he sounds completely out of the loop.

Project Veritas Expose Update

UPDATE: Project Veritas has released Part Two of its latest undercover video expose featuring FDA Executive Officer Christopher Cole.

https://www.projectveritas.com/news/fda-executive-officer-exposes-close-ties-between-agency-and-pharmaceutical/

In this segment, he talks about how the FDA is dependent on the “hundreds of millions of dollars a year” that drug, food and vaccine companies pay them in user fees “to hire and keep the reviewers to approve their products.” He also discusses the disincentives for people in government to blow the whistle on corruption and how no other office will want to hire you, whether what you did was right or wrong.

You can also read the FDA’s official response at that link. I won’t bother to quote it since you can read it for yourself, or just guess and you’ll probably be right.

There are a number of investigations being launched into what Black Lives Matter has been doing with the approximately $90 million that was showered on them in the past couple of years by terrified white liberals and the corporations they run. Now, we know what they’re doing with $100,000 of it. They used it to pay the (shockingly low) bail of BLM activist Quintez Brown, who is charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing a shot at a Jewish Louisville mayoral candidate who’s running against a black candidate.

Here's some background on the shooting and the suspect. 

https://legalinsurrection.com/2022/02/blm-supporting-gun-control-activist-arrested-for-attempted-murder-of-louisville-mayoral-candidate/

As Redstate.com points out, the Washington Post mustered no outrage for BLM using donor funds to bail out an alleged would-be murderer, but they have time to call up and dox people from a hacked list of GiveSendGo donors and harass them about donating to support the Canadian truckers’ peaceful freedom protest. At this point, I can’t imagine using WaPo for anything other than bird cage liner. If your birds will deign to poop on it. 

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/16/black-lives-matter-further-debases-itself-in-kentucky-n523283

That piece also points out that the investigations of BLM’s finances are all on the state level. The Biden “Justice” Department can’t seem to find a thing worth looking into, just as they ignore Antifa and police who kill Trump supporters. Keep all of this in mind when you vote in November.

Must-Read Essay

February 16, 2022

Historian Robert Zimmerman explains what the now-worldwide freedom protests are really about by taking us on a look back through the past two years and all the lies – not honest mistakes, but lies – that politicians and health officials told the public in order to exploit the COVID-19 virus to increase their own power and take away people's freedom.

https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-lie-that-was-covid-2/

In short, they’re not just protests to demand an end to draconian COVID measures, or even just to demand the people’s freedoms and rights back, but a demand to stop the lies and bring back government that the people can trust. The problem, of course, is that once a public official squanders the public trust, it’s nearly impossible to earn it back. Usually, that’s dealt with by replacing the individuals at the polls, but in this case, they’ve also managed to destroy public trust in the system itself and even in the elections. It’s going to take an overwhelming turnout at the polls to ensure the public trusts the results, and then the winners are going to have to clean house from top to bottom.

That’s why I wrote before that earning back the public’s trust is going to be a Herculean task, specifically referring to Hercules having to clean out the Augean Stables. So much manure had built up that Hercules had to divert a river to flush it all away. We might have to do that with the Potomac.

Inflation Explained

February 16, 2022

On Sunday, Nancy Pelosi raised eyebrows (not her own, of course) by claiming that we have runaway inflation because the Biden economy is just so darn good. She said the Biden rescue plan put money in people’s pockets, and "The fact that people have jobs always contributes to an increase in inflation. And that's a good thing. But inflation is not good, you know, we have to contain it."

At this link, former Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow offers her a helpful remedial lesson in what “inflation” is and what actually causes it.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/media/kudlow-root-cause-inflation

In a nutshell: Inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few products, which drives up prices. It’s not caused by the current unemployment rate, which is artificially low because it only counts people who are actively looking for a job.

When people are working, they’re creating more products. But when the government is printing a lot of dollars that didn’t exist before and giving them to people to sit home and not work, there are fewer products. There are also fewer products when you have an Administration that allows a supply chain crisis to go on and on and never solve it, or that declares war on the domestic fossil fuel industry. You know, like we have now.

In short, it’s caused by Biden and the Democrats in Congress creating too many dollars and ensuring that they are chasing too few products. So if you want to bring down inflation, you either have to convince the Democrats to reverse all their cherished failed policies, or you have to kick them out of office. Guess which one would be easier?

Trudeau cracks down

February 16, 2022

You have to hand it to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He finally found a way to stop people from comparing him to Fidel Castro. Now, they’re comparing him to Benito Mussolini.

Trudeau, who has proven himself to be a genuinely terrible leader, has slandered the peaceful trucker protesters, threatened them and had them arrested rather than simply agreeing to meet with them and listening. Here’s a recap of how his arrogance, intransigence and incompetence have led to the point where he’s not only created this crisis in Canada but inspired revolts around the world.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/justin-trudeau-trucker-protest-canada-david-marcus

Now, Trudeau has “gone nuclear” as many put it by invoking the seldom-used Emergencies Act, which is basically the Canadian version of martial law. Again, against peaceful protesters who are simply demanding that the government stop violating their rights and respect their freedom.

In a bizarre press conference, Trudeau described the move as “reasonable” and “proportionate,” as he and his deputy prime minister ominously described how truckers who protest the government may be subject to fines, imprisonment without due process, losing their insurance and more. They’re also expanding terrorist financing laws to allow for accounts to be frozen and seized without court order, including for people who merely support or raise funds to help the protesters.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/14/trudeau-officially-enacts-autocratic-emergency-powers-gives-surreal-press-conference-n522319

This is the type of extreme measure that’s meant to be invoked only when a situation “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.” That sounds more like when BLM and Antifa supporters were rioting, looting, setting fires and destroying property. Trudeau’s response to that was to take a knee with them.

While some civil rights groups that are unworthy of the name approved Trudeau’s dictatorial move, calling it "responsible" and "a good strategy," others condemned it and called it a slippery slope into government overreach. News flash, guys: declaring martial law against peaceful freedom protesters isn’t a “slippery slope into government overreach.” It’s a deep dive into the belly of the authoritarian beast.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/canadian-civil-liberties-groups-respond-to-trudeau-invoking-emergencies-act

Many of the truckers say they refuse to be intimidated and will not give up. Although "giving up" might be the best strategy. I would not be surprised if their next move would be to give him what he wants: instead of blocking the streets, they could take their trucks home...and keep them there. Keep them there until their disgraceful PM realizes that truckers are a lot more important to society than male models with Stalin-sized egos. They might let him and all the leftist elitists around him find out how much power they really have when nobody’s delivering their food or heating oil or hair gel to them.

Related: Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, imagines how an American President who supported American ideals and Constitutional rights would respond to Trudeau’s crackdown on citizens, if we had one of those.

https://pjmedia.com/columns/robert-spencer/2022/02/14/if-we-had-a-real-president-heres-how-he-or-she-would-react-to-trudeaus-war-on-canadians-freedom-n1559227

From Substack reader C. M. Cobb:

Looks like the White House servers were not hacked but rather Joffe was given access. By whom? I think that person plus the receiver of the info should be worried.

This just happens to be what we were planning on addressing next --- the “sensitive arrangement” that enabled Rodney Joffe, former Senior Vice President of Neustar, to infiltrate the White House computer servers.

(Note: speaking of Neustar, it was acquired in December, 2021, by TransUnion for $3.1 billion. No small potatoes.)

Take a look at the wording of Durham’s report: Joffe “had come to access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP [Executive Office of the President] as part of a sensitive arrangement whereby it provided DNS [domain name system] resolution services to the EOP.” They “exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about President Trump.”

This is what spies do. To do it, they either have to have inside help or else successfully compromise someone, likely through some combination of blackmail and/or threats. In other words, the “sensitive arrangement” might have been a matter of friendly cooperation within an anti-Trump cabal, or possibly was “an offer you can’t refuse.” How Joffe managed to achieve this very underhanded “sensitive arrangement” is no doubt under investigation.

The CIA was also involved. As Jerry Dunleavy reported this weekend for the Washington Examiner, “Durham said Friday that Sussmann, at a meeting in February, 2017, [EDITORIAL NOTE: AFTER TRUMP WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE] ‘provided an updated set of allegations –- including the Russian Bank – 1 data and additional allegations relating to Trump’ to another U.S. government agency dubbed ‘Agency – 2,’ which is reportedly the CIA.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/justice/durham-says-democrat-allied-tech-executive-spied-on-trumps-white-house-office

During his CIA meeting, Sussmann allegedly “provided data which he claimed reflected purportedly suspicious DNS lookups by these entities of internet protocol addresses affiliated with a Russian mobile phone provider,” claiming that this showed “Trump and/or his associates” were using “rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations.” Durham said this claim was “highly misleading or outright false” and explained why.

According to Durham, the so-called “sensitive arrangement” with Joffe started in July of 2016. (Crossfire Hurricane was opened at the end of July.) Kash Patel, lead investigator for Devin Nunes’ House Intelligence Committee, did use the word “hack” to describe what was done: “Per the pleading, the government will also show that Joffe, af the direction of Sussmann/Elias and the Clinton campaign, exploited proprietary data, to hack Trump Tower and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), which Sussmann later relayed to U.S. agencies in the hopes of having them launch investigations of President Trump.”

As Tucker Carlson reported Monday, Joffe, a pro-Hillary activist from South Africa who assembled a team of cyber researchers from Georgia Tech, said in emails that he wanted Hillary to win because she “had promised him a job as a top cybersecurity officer in the U.S. government.” Durham said Joffe “tasked those researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia.”

Here’s a link to Tucker's monologue, worthwhile especially for the clip between Trump and Hillary during their 2016 debate. In a way that seems ridiculous in light of current revelations, she plays it to the hilt: “It’s pretty clear...that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants you to do, and that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race.”

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6297536905001#sp=show-clips

Brother. Let’s see, who was it who “encouraged espionage”? Hint: not Trump. And it’s hard to imagine this REAL espionage wasn’t done without the knowledge and direction of Hillary Clinton. Here she was talking about the so-called espionage against the DNC, the “hacking” of their servers, but we know even that was made up. There’s still no evidence Russia did that.

As politicized as the intel community is, two recent appointees as Director of National Intelligence were definitely not part of the swamp: Ric Grenell and John Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe says there's “enough evidence” to bring charges against “quite a few” people associated with the origin of the bogus Trump-Russia investigation. Ratcliffe himself even informed Durham that Clinton’s lawyers might have hacked Trump’s servers to fabricate a story that distracted from her own email scandal. And Obama and Biden both knew, Ratcliffe told FOX NEWS’ Bill Hemmer on Monday, because then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed them on it.

https://republicbrief.com/ex-director-of-national-intelligence-says-theres-enough-evidence-to-indict-multiple-people-in-trump-russia-probe/

An update from FOX NEWS is consistent, saying more people are cooperating and going before Durham’s grand jury than has previously been reported.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/durham-probe-accelerated-more-people-cooperating-coming-before-grand-jury

Lee Smith, author of THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, also appeared on Tucker’s show, saying, “...The idea that the Oval Office and other important offices in the White House were under surveillance by political operatives is extraordinary. It’s shocking --- and I’m talking to people who were investigating this on the Hill for several years, and they’re shocked.” We’re finally starting to understand the scope and depravity of this operation, he said, and “it’s terrible for the country.”

So, what was the impetus for Durham’s filing last Friday? He was asking the presiding judge to inquire into potential conflicts of interest arising from Sussmann’s representation by the law firm Latham & Watkins, as these could be relevant at trial. Latham has previously represented both Sussmann and Perkins Coie over issues Durham said might become relevant, and also “maintained professional and/or personal relationships with individuals who could be witnesses in these proceedings.” (Sussmann has reportedly waived any concern.) More on this law firm to come.

Finally, Margot Cleveland at The Federalist has perhaps the definitive breakdown –- for now –- of what Durham might have in store for those guilty of a spying and frame-up operation against Trump. Again, John Ratcliffe and Ric Grenell, both former Directors of National Intelligence, knew what the Democrats were up to and apparently helped point Durham in the right direction. Grenell tweeted that “some Democrats knew” about the plan for Joffe to monitor Trump’s White House internet and “let it go.”

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/14/special-counsel-democrats-framed-and-spied-on-trump-while-he-was-president/

Ratcliffe announced in October, after Sussmann was indicted, that he’d provided Durham with almost 1,000 pages of materials. He said then that Sussmann’s indictment was “the tip of the iceberg.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/john-ratcliffe-intelligence-documents-john-durham-charges

Other than the New York Post and some conservative sites (like this one!), hardly anyone is covering what Rep. Elise Stefanik calls “the biggest criminal political corruption story of our lifetime.” (We’d love to be flies on the wall during their editorial meetings!) Asked about this, K. T. McFarland said that “it’s because all the other media was in on the con...They don’t want to have to be called before a grand jury and have to say where they got the fake story and why they continue to peddle it.”

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kyle-drennen/2022/02/14/nets-silent-clinton-spying-trump-cover-skating-scandal-instead

We did find a report from NBC, downplaying the story's significance and ending with a hilarious statement from Joffe’s spokesperson, calling him “apolitical.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/tech-exec-used-access-white-house-computers-look-dirt-trump-says-speci-rcna16123

Better: The Daily Caller tells it without the unintentional humor.:

https://dailycaller.com/2022/02/14/trump-clinton-fbi-russia-collusion-durham/

“We’ve never seen anything like this in American history,” said Mark Levin in the intro to his Sunday night show, referring to the 'collusion’ among the Obama/Biden administrations, the Hillary campaign/DNC, and Mark Elias/Michael Sussmann/Perkins Coie and the creators of the fake Steele “dossier,” all to push the Trump-Russia narrative and repeated coup attempts against President Trump. “THAT’S the insurrection.” he said. “That’s what took place --- the effort to overthrow an elected President of the United States.”

Durham’s latest filing in the Michael Sussmann case, released Friday night, goes to a place that even we hadn’t even anticipated --- a place where Hillary’s people didn’t just spy on Trump the candidate. Most shocking of all, Durham says he has evidence to show they continued to spy on him after he became President, by way of “Tech Executive -1,” Rodney Jaffe, and his hacking of the President’s internet servers. (!!!) If we didn’t predict Durham would find this, it was only because we didn’t realize it was possible. If the President’s internet server, at that ultimate level of classification, is hackable, then who knows where our most sensitive national security information ended up?

Quoting from Durham: “The Government’s evidence at trial will also establish that among the Internet data Tech Executive – 1 and his associates exploited was domain name system (“DNS”) Internet traffic pertaining to (i) a particular healthcare provider, (ii) Trump Tower, (iii) DONALD TRUMP’S CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT BUILDING, and (iv) THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (‘EOP’) [emphasis ours].”

According to the report, Jaffe “had come to access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP as part of a sensitive arrangement whereby it provided DNS resolution services to the EOP.” They “exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.”

In a sane world, this story would be THE headline from every news outlet. It’s hardly possible even to describe how earth-shaking it is. As the story in RedState says, “This blows Watergate out of the water and makes it look like child’s play. Only in the current hyper-partisan environment, where Democrats can literally get away with anything, is this not a major political scandal. Here you have associates of Hillary Clinton, and allies of the law firm she was contracting to get dirt on Trump, using government channels to spy on him. And not just during the campaign, but after he became President.”

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/02/12/john-durham-drops-a-shock-and-awe-filing-about-spying-on-donald-trump-n521239

Recall the way Trump was ridiculed for claiming Trump Tower was spied on. Well, it WAS, by Hillary’s people, and now Durham says he can show it was even worse –- they spied on his personal residence, and even after he became President, they spied on the White House. FOX News took viewers down memory lane on Sunday, also reminding us that one of the conspiratorial liars, Jake Sullivan, is currently working in the Biden White House.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1oESBHPv8Y

Byron York says this newest revelation proves Trump was right. In fact, one has to wonder if Trump might not have had an insider all along who advised him of what was happening. SOMEBODY told him.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday morning that this new Durham filing shows the spying on Trump was “worse than we thought, as it showed the government was working with Hillary’s campaign. “We’ve never seen anything like that in history.”

https://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/feb/13/jim-jordan-durham-filing-shows-spying-trump-was-wo/

Kash Patel, former chief investigator of the Trump-Russia probe for the House Intel Committee, said the filing “definitively shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia.” Legal Insurrection has a comprehensive overview of the Durham filing, highly recommended reading.

https://legalinsurrection.com/2022/02/durham-court-filing-hillarys-campaign-spied-on-trump-tower-trump-apartment-bldg-white-house-internet-traffic/

“Dilbert” creator and author Scott Adams, in his podcast “Coffee with Scott Adams,” addressed this on Sunday. “It looks like the campaign was definitely involved,” he said, “in something that looks like an insurrection.” I like his choice of words here: insurrection. “Now, keep in mind,” he said, “this wasn’t an FBI investigation, right? This was some lawyers who had some access to some technology guys who had some access to some data. This is about the most illegal thing you’ve ever heard of.”

And it happened to him after he was not just a candidate –- which was bad enough –- but the sitting President. Of all the things we’ve ever heard about that were said to be “worse than Watergate,” he said, this is the first one that really has been worse than Watergate!

Adams pointed out something we’ve noted before: that Jake Sullivan, who worked for Hillary and now is President Bien’s national security adviser, was deeply involved in this scheme. So was Marc Elias, who was, and is, busy trying to cook elections with new rules and redistricting, state-by-state, with the stated purpose of electing more Democrats.

“Basically, everything that was your worst imagination of what was happening seems to be coming true,” he said. He agreed with what we’ve been saying for years, that everything Democrats accuse Republicans of doing is what they, the Democrats, are doing. If you want to know what they’re up to, your first clue is the fake stories they tell about the GOP.

Adams had checked CNN’s home page and, sure enough, the story wasn’t there, not even a little bit. Same with MSNBC. They’d tossed that file down the memory hole. And Democrats get away with this, because their audience watches only them. As if Democrats would ever tune in to Fox News to find out what’s going on!

So, what DID CNN talk about Sunday morning? Main story on their home page: More on Joe Rogan and the n-word, with an opinion piece linking the fact that Rogan’s still on the air with the January 6 insurrection, saying both of these things tear at the fabric of our country. Not kidding.

(NOTE: For an update, we looked at the CNN home page late Sunday night. The Durham story still was not there, but we did learn that Team Fluff had won the Puppy Bowl.)

“They’re ‘disappearing’ a gigantic story, successfully...It’s mind-boggling,” Adams said, describing the scandal as “a Hillary Clinton insurrection against the government.”

As a palate-cleanser after that sad observation about the state of “journalism,” I’d like to leave you with an incredible piece of in-depth investigative reporting that explains just what “The Swamp” is, how it came to be, and how our government is now structured to incorporate what is essentially the fourth branch of government --- the “Intelligence Branch” --- which appears to be running the show. They’re not even accountable to the President, as they choose what intelligence to share with the White House. Please, when you can, make some time to take all of this in. It might be the biggest wake-up call for our country that I have ever read.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2022/02/12/the-surveillance-and-political-spying-operations-highlighted-by-john-durham-are-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/

Finally, don't miss the best video commentary from the weekend on what Hillary's campaign did, from Steve Hilton on "The Next Revolution."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN9IsEw5y4U

“Crackpipe-gate”

February 16, 2022

“Crackpipe-gate” (as it’s facetiously been dubbed) has taken another twist or three. You’ll remember that the Washington Free Beacon reported that $30 million allocated by the Biden Administration was going to include “smoking kits” to make smoking crack and other illicit substances more sanitary for addicts, and that the kits include crack pipes. The White House denied that it was supplying free crack pipes. 

Now, the Washington Post reports that the Free Beacon reporter who wrote the story said the HHS spokesperson did not specifically say that the kits would include crack pipes, but he did confirm that the kits were for smoking crack, and based on what’s included in such kits around the country, they reported that the government would be funding crack pipes.

https://redstate.com/jeffc/2022/02/12/crackpipegate-just-got-a-lot-more-interesting-and-confusing-n521410

That's a point for the White House's side. But even WaPo admitted that it’s unclear what HHS’ intentions were, since the story ran before the kits were created.

Now, here’s another twist: Jeff Charles at Redstate.com reports that Biden is under fire now for denying that he plans to give out free crack pipes (and no, not from his son Hunter.) A nonprofit group called the Drug Policy Alliance that seeks “alternatives to strict laws” in aiding addicts, is angry because it was under the impression that the Administration did intend to include crack pipes in the kits. A spokesman fumed, “It would seem pointless to distribute these kits without” pipes, which “are the main part of the smoking kit to prevent the transmission of disease.”

(Although I feel I should mention that they are the main part of transmitting crack, which is arguably worse than disease.)

And another twist: The Free Beacon fired back that the HHS spokesman told them that they do “not specify what is in the kits, leaving that detail to program participants at the local level.” And we know some local programs have given out free crack pipes.

As to the question of whether Biden’s HHS planned to give away taxpayer-funded crack pipes to addicts, it’s not clear whether they did or didn’t. There don’t seem to be any strong denials, though, that they wanted to give away syringes. So either way, they’re using our tax money to help addicts keep using crack and heroin in the name of “compassion and public health.” I don’t think they understand what either of those terms means.

Yesterday, we promised to delve deeper into the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP, which represents Michael Sussmann and was the reason for Special Counsel John Durham’s filing last week. The matter of Sussmann’s representation hasn’t received much attention yet, but needs to.

Durham was notifying the judge of potential conflicts of interest generated by Latham, as the firm represents an amazing array of others who might be called as witnesses or possibly indicted. This firm happens to have previously represented both Perkins Coie and Marc Elias in the Durham investigation. As Durham alleges, Latham “likely possesses confidential knowledge about Perkins Coie’s role in, and views concerning, Sussmann’s past activities.”

Latham also represents both the Clinton campaign and Hillary for America. What are the odds?

Interestingly, one of the partners at Latham is...(drum roll, please)...Liz Cheney’s husband, Philip Perry.

https://newarkdailytimes.com/2022/02/13/liz-cheneys-husband-is-partner-at-latham-watkins-which-works-on-behalf-of-companies/

Jake Sullivan, who appears to be the odd man out –- not represented by Latham but by attorney Brian Stekloff of Wilkinson Stekloff in DC –- is not currently under indictment but might have lied under oath to the House Intel Committee, at the very least.

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/latest-durham-revelations-put-bidens-national-security

Let’s look back at what Latham was doing for the Democrat Party in December of 2020. As Jerry Dunleavy reported for the Washington Examiner, “The Democratic National Committee’s legal team, bolstered by Obama’s White House lawyers, moved to dismiss a lawsuit from onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, arguing the ‘gist’ of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s controversial dossier was true.”

The attorneys argued that the “allegedly defamatory statements” against Page were “substantially true” and “are capable of an innocent construction.” I have a question: do attorneys really get to lie with such impunity and still not get disbarred? Answer: Yes! At least these lawyers do.

But here’s where it gets more interesting. Quoting from Dunleavy’s piece: “The DNC legal team, comprised of five lawyers from Latham & Watkins, including lead counsel Terra Reynolds, former Obama deputy White House counsel Nicholas McQuaid, and former Obama White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, claimed, “The statements at issue in this case are not merely susceptible of an innocent construction –- they relate to business and political contacts that Page himself indisputably cultivated in Russia.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/obama-white-house-lawyers-fight-carter-pages-dnc-lawsuit-by-defending-gist-of-steele-dossier

Aside from the fact that Page’s lawsuit states that he had never met with those contacts and that IG Horowitz had already noted the lack of evidence that he did, do you notice anything in particular about the above paragraph? The legal team from Latham & Watkins defending the DNC includes two big-time members of Obama’s own team.

In fact, Kathryn Ruemmler was Obama’s longest-serving White House counsel and has been known for years in DC circles as his “fixer.” She’s the one Obama praised for her ability to “see around corners.”

So, now we’ve got Hillary Clinton and her machine being investigated by the special counsel, and most are being represented by the law firm that employed Obama’s “fixer” as a top attorney. Ruemmler had even been mentioned as a possible successor to Eric Holder when he stepped down as Obama’s attorney general, but she withdrew her name from consideration, saying her close friendship with Obama might make the confirmation process “difficult.”

Here’s a look back at Ruemmler from 2014, as profiled by Latham & Watkins. She has a long history with the Clintons, too, serving as associate White House counsel to Bill Clinton, where she was busy “defending the White House against independent counsel and congressional investigations.”

https://www.lw.com/news/kathryn-ruemmler-to-rejoin-latham-05202014

Sidney Powell has had her eye on Ruemmler for a long time. This piece from 2018 places Obama’s “fixer” among the female “triumverate” surrounding him: Ruemmler, Lisa Monaco and Susan Rice.

https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/01/reunited-and-it-feels-so-swampy-obamas-three-muses-reappear-in-muellers-trump-investigation/

Ruemmler and Monaco go back to the Enron case, working under Andrew Weissmann, all three of whom were implicated in prosecutorial misconduct, as Powell detailed in her book LICENSE TO LIE. Ruemmler hid exculpatory evidence in that case, and almost all the convictions were overturned.

By the way, guess where Lisa Monaco is now? No, she’s not at Latham. But she’s got the DOJ covered, as she is second in command there. Since April 21, 2021, she’s been Merrick Garland’s deputy attorney general. And we wonder why only Republicans are ever held accountable.

Also, guess who Nicholas McQuaid is? This colleague of Hunter Biden's defense attorney Christopher Clark moved from Latham to the DOJ the day Biden took office, named as acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. Sen. Chuck Grassley noticed...

https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/on-day-one-biden-installed-law-partner-of-sons-defense-lawyer-at-doj-criminal-division

As for Ruemmler, she’s been back and forth over the years between the White House and Latham. After just weeks of being back at Latham, she was defending...(another drum roll, please)...the Clinton Foundation.

She’s not currently at Latham or the White House. She’s Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at Goldman Sachs, after joining in 2020 as a partner. It's not known if she’s taking any role in the defense of Durham’s targets.

On Monday, Sussmann’s defense filed a six-page response to Durham’s filing of last Friday, formally waiving Sussmann’s potential conflicts of interest. (No doubt the others being represented by Latham will do this same.) It complains loudly about Durham’s tactic of using “speaking indictments” to include allegations they don’t consider relevant to the charged offense (that is, lying to the FBI), saying the media coverage he’s generating might “taint the jury pool.”

Considering most media are hardly even covering the story, at least so far, that concern might be a tad overblown. But Margot Cleveland does see that changing as the media gradually start covering it. Her analysis of this new filing by Sussmann’s attorneys is a must-read.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/15/what-we-learned-from-michael-sussmanns-response-to-the-spygate-special-counsel/

Attorneys' characterization of Durham’s filing as “inflammatory” and “political” gives Democrats all the excuse they need not to even look at his allegations.

Cleveland’s previous analysis, made after Durham’s filing but before Sussmann’s attorneys responded, asks some good questions. In light of our general topic today, legal representation, note in particular #5-8. Especially #8: “Why the swamp is so swampy.”

https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/14/8-more-intrigues-inside-the-latest-special-counsel-filings/

You can bet the various defendants represented by Latham will, like Sussmann, waive any concerns about conflict of interest. If one does, they all will. Then the court has the option of accepting those waivers or not.

When a real reporter for the U.K. Daily Mail actually did a journalist’s job and dared to ask Hillary about Durham’s filing, she walked by saying nothing. I assume her attorneys have advised her not to comment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1KhulzSdgs

……………………………….

Finally...

LAUGH OF THE DAY

Here’s an especially hilarious excerpt from the piece by The New York Times’ national security and legal policy correspondent Charlie Savage on why not to bother covering the Durham story:

“[Durham’s narratives] tend to involve dense and obscure issues, so dissecting them requires asking readers to expend significant mental energy and time --- raising the question of whether news outlets should even cover such claims.”

Duh, we’re just too stooo-pid, and it’s haaaaaard! We’d love to ask Margot Cleveland what she thinks about this! Here’s what Spencer Brown at Townhall had to say…

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2022/02/15/oh-so-this-is-why-the-new-york-times-didnt-cover-this-weeks-durham-bombshell-n2603300

Let's play 'Did You Know?'

February 16, 2022

Did you know that Jake Sullivan’s wife is reportedly a top adviser for Attorney General Merrick Garland in the Department of "Justice"? According to POLITICO, Maggie Goodlander not only clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer but also for Garland when he was on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. (A story in the New Hampshire Bar News says she found it “really painful” and “an abdication of duty” that the Senate didn’t take up Garland’s nomination for Supreme Court.) With Biden's election and Garland's appointment, she became his counsel in the attorney general’s office, where she now works.

Jake Sullivan, as you definitely know, works in the White House as Biden’s national security adviser and also played a huge role in the spread of the fake Trump-Russia story. He hasn’t been indicted at this point, but at the very least could be called as a witness.

Goodlander must recuse herself immediately from anything involving the Durham investigation. Washington, DC, is so incestuous, this is no doubt just one of many conflicts of interest that will emerge before Durham is done.

As a side note, during President Trump’s impeachment trial, she served as counsel for the HouseReason #10,398 To Homeschool Your Kids: Judiciary Committee and House Managers, trying to help them get Trump convicted and removed from office. Her husband must have been so proud.

But do you see the problem? It's not a good look, even for this DOJ.

POLITICO could have used a chart to show all the relationships among Jake Sullivan, his family members, and other DC players.

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2021/06/02/the-other-sullivan-s-493091

Note: Troy Nehls is pictured here in the blue shirt on Jan. 6.

In an update to the U.S. Capitol Police story, Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas accused USCP Chief Tom Manger on Tuesday of telling “a bold-faced lie” when he said Nehls was never being investigated. As you know, Nehls is accusing them of illegally entering his office on two separate days last November, photographing the notes on his whiteboard (yes, SPYING) and later questioning a staff member about that content.

As Nehls alleged, “The Capitol Police Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act” He said they proceeded to take photos of “confidential legislative products protected by the Speech and Debate clause enshrined in the Constitution, Article 1 Section 6.” He says he personally told the chief what was wrong about this and is quite unsatisfied with the responses he got to his concerns. In fact, he got the distinct impression that it was he who was considered the ‘threat.’

https://thepostmillennial.com/rep-troy-nehls-pushes-back-at-capitol-police-chief-denies-investigation

The USCP Inspector General has announced an internal investigation of the Capitol Police and their surveillance practices. The USCP maintains that Nehls’ door was wide open and that they were doing their duty when they checked things out. Chief Manger said, “The United States Capitol Police is sworn to protect Members of Congress. If a Member’s office is left open and unsecured, without anyone inside the office, USCP officers are directed to document that and secure the office to ensure no one can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious.”

Well, that all sounds fine as far as it goes –- assuming the door WAS left open (we have their word, but so far nothing else) --- but it does not explain why they photographed the whiteboard or why, two days later, investigators disguised as construction workers stopped by and started questioning a lone staffer about what was written on it. It fails to address that at all.

A spokesperson for Rep. Nehls offered some food for thought: “Imagine leaving your front door open and police enter your private home, take pictures of the inside, and then open a criminal investigation based on those pictures.”

“How can Chief Manger issue a statement, and fail to mention the photograph that was illegally taken,” she asked. Here is Rep. Nehls’ full press release.

https://nehls.house.gov/posts/rep-nehls-reveals-he-was-targeted-in-malicious-capitol-police-criminal-investigation?oRef=ncl_amplify

House Republicans are now calling on Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman on House Administration Zoe Lofgren, also a Democrat from California, to investigate the USCP surveillance activities, noting the constitutional issues they raise. (Question for House GOP: Do any of you trust Nancy Pelosi to set up a real investigation, especially when that would involve being investigated herself?)

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/09/capitol-police-issue-an-unbelievable-statement-after-accusations-of-spying-on-congress-n519831

Also, Nehls says that he and 26 of his House Republican colleagues have written to Chief Manger demanding that the USCP preserve all of their records related to any investigative activity involving any legislators or their staff members. This isn’t the first time Nehls has written to Chief Manger…

https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/10/texas-representative-asks-dc-police-chief-doj-to-make-ashli-babbitt-shooting-documents-public/

That’s right, it was Nehls who wrote to Chief Manger in October of last year, asking for a more thorough investigation into Ashli Babbitt’s death and requesting public disclosure of related documents. He said at that time he had personally reviewed all materials available relating to January 6. “Based on my extensive law enforcement experience,” he wrote, “I see nothing that could have possibly justified the use of lethal force against Ms. Babbitt…It is simply implausible that a single unarmed individual crawling through a broken window could have presented a serious life and death threat to LT Byrd or Members of Congress.”

He even said in the letter that it had been suggested by other USCP officers that the investigation into Byrd was dropped “because of his position and other political considerations.” Whew, one can see that IF the Capitol Police WERE going to spy on a member of Congress, it likely would be Nehls.

https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/10/texas-representative-asks-dc-police-chief-doj-to-make-ashli-babbitt-shooting-documents-public/

Rep. Nehls appeared with Laura Ingraham on her FOX News show Wednesday night, after Ingraham played a video clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi denying she had any authority over the Capitol Police. “I have no power over the Capitol Police --- does anybody not know that?” she asked rhetorically with a broad smile. “Capitol Police have responded to that gentleman’s [Nehls’] allegation, and that stands as what it is. But I have no power over the police.”

Nehls was not surprised that Pelosi said nothing nice about him, as he’s been a vocal critic. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked in law enforcement for 30 years –- 8 years as a sheriff –- and he accuses the USPC intelligence division of having “all of the material” ahead of the Capitol Hill rally that would have told them to be on guard against potentially disruptive extremist groups who were coming to the Capitol on January 6.

“January 6 should’ve never happened,” he has said repeatedly. “The Capitol Police had the intelligence; they didn’t share it.” He told Ingraham that as someone who himself has conducted investigations, he continues to be quite vocal, specifically about Ashli Babbitt’s death and the “way too quick” dismissal of charges against her shooter, Lt. Michael Byrd. Apparently his letter last fall got no results.

With his lengthy and impressive law enforcement background, Nehls seems like someone who would’ve been an asset on Pelosi’s “Special Committee” to look into January 6. Yet she refused to seat hm.

“...She doesn’t want me talking about January 6,” he said, “because I think, in the end, she had a role to play.”

Snopes.com attempted to debunk the story that the Biden HHS will advance "racial equity" with grants to “help” drug addicts by providing them with new crack pipes. They branded the story “Mostly False,” calling it a “grossly misleading and reductive presentation of what was a real substance harm reduction grant.”

https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/02/09/snopes-com-beclowns-itself-again-with-another-true-but-false-fact-check-of-bidens-free-crack-pipe-program-n519571

What was their problem with it? Well…the grants cover more than crack pipes! The smoking kits are just one of 20 things funded by it (but they are funded.) They're also providing “rubber mouthpieces for glass pipes, in order to prevent burns and cuts; brass screens, in order to filter out potentially harmful contaminants or debris; as well as disinfectant wipes.” And among the non-crack pipe-related funding, there are “syringe services programs.” Finally, “the purpose of the program was to reduce harm and the risk of infection among drug users, not to advance racial equity, although that was a secondary consideration.”

So, they’re not MERELY providing new crack pipes, they’re also doing other things, including helping make your old crack pipe safer! Plus, for those who are too concerned about their health to smoke, there are free needles! And “promoting racial equity” was not the SOLE reason for giving our free drug paraphernalia – although it was a reason. Well, then, that’s completely different!

By the way, our write-up of this story clearly said that the funding was for “’smoking kits’ which will INCLUDE new, sanitary pipes” as well as “clean syringes.” Some of the sources Snopes.com singled out as purveyors of falsehoods also included that apparently crucial “context.” We also mentioned that some blue cities had abandoned such programs after discovering they only enabled worse drug addiction. Our point was that public funds should be spent on helping people get off drugs, not enabling them to smoke crack and shoot heroin “more safely.” I don't care how much tax money is budgeted toward free crack pipes. None of it should be! Whoever came up with this must've been smoking crack. 

It appears to me that this story was rated “Mostly False” because it contained “misinformation,” which the left has now redefined to mean “true stuff that we’d prefer people not talk about.”

America has a sin problem

February 10, 2022

Racism is a symptom, not the source. It’s the effect, but not the cause. It’s the manifestation of evil, but not the root of evil. We hear about racism everyday as if it’s the reason for all conflicts in our country. But America doesn’t have a skin problem—we have a SIN problem. And racism is based on a Satanic lie of the real essence of ALL sin—pride. The notion that some people think they are just better than others. And when one thinks he or she is better, that person believes they shouldn’t have to be held to the same standards. Political division is also fueled by pride—those who believe their ideas and their policies and the people they support are just better. And the result is that different standards are applied. The reason that Rosa Parks was told to sit in the back of the bus was that the arrogant pride of some people who didn’t think she was as good as they were. The reason that a teenager named Clarence Henderson risked his life to sit at a lunch counter at a Woolworth in North Carolina was because some people didn’t think he deserved to be seated at the same lunch counter because they didn’t think he was good as they were. The reason that 9 young high school students had to be escorted to Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957 was due to some in the community not believing those kids were as smart and capable as their kids were. All of those things were racist. They were all evil and sinful. But all were because of the real sin of pride. It showed itself as racism; it was rooted in pride.

Whenever there is a double standard, it’s the same root sin as racism. If the Governor of CA orders the citizens to wear a mask in public but he takes his off at a football game, it’s his pride in thinking he’s just better than you. If members of Congress demand to get the transcript of a phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine and actually impeach the President because of what was said in the call, but the same members of Congress don’t demand public disclosure of a phone call between President Biden and the President of Ukraine this week, it’s because they believe their side is just better than your side. If a podcast host like Joe Rogan gets crucified for allowing highly competent scientists to say lockdowns and masks don’t work and is called out for spewing medical misinformation, even after the CDC releases a report that actually says the same thing, it’s not misinformation people are going crazy over—they just think the people they listen to are better than the people you listen to. If protesters in many major cities burn police stations, loot and firebomb private businesses and beat up innocent people on the streets yet politicians defend them as “mostly peaceful” but when protesters go to the US Capitol and protest, they are insurrectionists doing more harm than 9-11, Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War, they aren’t really that crazy to believe that—they just think the protesters they support are better than those they don’t. If Hillary, Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams and others can question the integrity of an election and claim it was rigged, but Donald Trump is permanently banned from Twitter and FB for saying it, it’s just another example of the arrogant pride that some folks think their armpits don’t stink—but yours do. Like racism, it’s a symptom of deadly and dangerous pride. It’s not political—it’s a spiritual sickness. But we will never correct it if we misdiagnose it and fail to see it for what it really is—selfish arrogance of pride that is willing to put a different standard on you than on themselves because they actually believe they are better than you!

O Canada

February 9, 2022

Canadian government officials who have grown more and more authoritarian with their COVID mandates seem to be panicking and hitting the Emergency Tyrant Button over the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/06/ottawa-declares-state-of-emergency-reports-of-police-arresting-truckers-seizing-fuel-n518343

It doesn’t seem to be working, though, as workers around the world have had enough of destructive, ironfisted, rights-crushing lockdowns imposed under the guise of “stopping the spread” of COVID (something that a new study by a Johns Hopkins University researcher found they failed to do.) The Canadian truckers are inspiring similar working class revolts worldwide.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/canadian-style-trucker-protests-spread-world

It’s prompted conservatives to note that there is finally a real, grassroots movement for “workers of the world to unite and throw off their shackles,” and socialists are terrified of it.

The truckers have been talked down to, slandered and targeted with “multiple investigations;” they’ve been called violent, Russian agents, QAnon members, racists and homophobes; and they've been ordered to go home. They tried to tow them away, but the tow truck drivers refused. They considered calling in the Army, but the Army said, “Not our fight.”

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2022/02/07/honk-honk-canadian-pm-wont-send-the-army-to-remove-antimandate-truckers-for-a-simple-reason-n2602911

Some of the counter-protesters have reportedly tried false flag operations to discredit the truckers, and one attempted a hoax so laughable that it made Jussie Smollett look competent.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/06/watch-counter-protester-caught-faking-getting-hit-by-freedom-convoy-truck-n518383

Now, they’re being threatened with arrest for peacefully assembling to protest the government. Short of shooting them or throwing them in prison for a year or so while they decide what to charge them with, that’s pretty much the entire leftwing government playbook for dealing with dissent by working people.

By the way, here’s some of the “violent” criminal behavior the left is so worked up about: it includes dancing to “We Are Family,” setting up bouncy houses for kids and holding outdoor church services. I thought liberals wanted all church services to be held outdoors in Canada in February.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/02/06/ottawa-declares-state-of-emergency-reports-of-police-arresting-truckers-seizing-fuel-n518343

I wonder if any of the elitists who are so angry at these truckers realize how their very privileged lives would quickly devolve if the truckers did all decide to just go home and stay there, instead of delivering goods to the city dwellers who look down on them.


What The Canadian Truckers Stand For:

For those accusing the Canadian Truckers of being white supremacists, QAnon insurrectionists or the whole litany of tired leftist clichés, here’s their statement about what they stand for, direct from their new fundraising page at GiveSendGo. I warn you, this is some pretty scary revolutionary rhetoric:

https://www.westernjournal.com/flashback-years-gofundme-ripped-9-million-peaceful-truckers-actively-promoted-violent-takeover-seattle/

"We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here...

We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government, and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive. It's our duty as Canadians to put an end to (these) mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don't our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back."

Imagine the effrontery of those peasants, wanting their lives back!


GoFundMe.com Reverses Itself:

After being hit with a storm of outrage and threats of fraud investigations by Sen. Ted Cruz and a couple of red state Governors and Attorneys General, GoFundMe.com reversed itself and decided that donors to the Canadian Truckers’ Convoy will get automatic refunds. The site won’t require them to apply for a refund or send the money to some other charity of the site’s choosing. So for those keeping score, the only act of violence on the part of the truckers is that they helped GoFundMe’s executives shoot themselves in the foot.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/gofundme-backtracks-canadian-trucker-money-fraud-investigation-threat

(Also, an Ottawa city council member deleted his tweet about how he was working on a plan to “legally” confiscate their donations. I’m sure he’s had lots of experience in coming up with ways to legally confiscate other people’s money.)

https://www.foxnews.com/world/canadian-leader-deletes-tweet-saying-hell-target-freedom-trucker-convoys-gofundme-donations

I might be more sympathetic to GoFundMe’s claims about violations of its Terms of Service if the same site didn’t have a history of providing fundraising for various leftist criminals and violent protesters. Here’s a walk down memory lane by way of the prison yard, to revisit some of the fine upstanding leftists that GoFundMe has helped to support.

https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2022/02/05/andy-ngo-has-the-thread-of-the-year-showing-gofundme-doesnt-seem-to-take-issue-with-fundraising-for-leftist-occupations/

(Also worth reminding you: Kamala Harris and her staff endorsed and contributed to a fund to bail out Minneapolis rioters who got out of jail and went right back to doing it again.)

To prove that some businesses are actually more interested in fulfilling their mission to serve customers than in kowtowing to leftists, the competing fundraising site GiveSendGo accepted a fundraiser for the Canadian truckers. As of this writing on Monday morning, it had already received over $4.3 million in donations.

https://www.westernjournal.com/gofundme-betrays-freedom-convoy-donors-donations-truckers-new-crowdfunding-site-skyrocket/

You’d think the following monologue was something out of a conservative documentary about law and order in the America of 2022, but it’s not. Try 1952. It was spoken by William Holden, playing a jaded reporter 70 years ago in a crime drama called THE TURNING POINT, when an investigation into a criminal syndicate is on the verge of collapse:

“They’ll dig into the record and find out that all this time and all this money produced absolutely nothing --- that the sacred investigation was a complete flop. From then on, they’ll play political hopscotch. A committee will be appointed to investigate the investigation. And in due time, they’ll return with a comprehensive report that’ll be promptly filed and forgotten. And in the meantime, the people will wind up right where they were, at the mercy of the hoodlums.

“...But something occurs to me. Even allowing for the apathy of the people, and their lack of integrity, and their occasional lack of intelligence, that’s the fact that they all want desperately to believe in --- a certain majesty of the law. And for people like us, like you and me, the greatest crime in law is the lack of faith in the law. And that’s when we join hands with the hoodlums. If they can convince us of the uselessness of knocking out crime, the difficulty, the fact that personal sacrifices may be too great, then we might as well hand over the city, and the state and the nation, too, to the [hoodlums], and let them run it for us.”

I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received expressing that same lack of faith. Our system of justice has become so politicized that few believe anyone on the left will be brought to justice, as we see those on the right hounded mercilessly and personally destroyed. Millions of Americans are convinced that our country really has been handed over to the hoodlums and that it’s useless to even try to get back on the right track. Their despair is the worst tragedy of all.

So, how did we get to this point? It certainly didn’t just happen. Billionaire donors such as George Soros have been working hard getting soft-on-crime DAs elected in major American cities. And now that they are there, some of them are nurturing the next wave of of law enforcement lefties at such policy “think tanks” as the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Hells Kitchen, NYC.

https://nypost.com/2022/02/05/manhattan-college-think-tank-is-ground-zero-for-woke-das/

Since 2016, this college has been home to the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, which works with controversial –- I prefer the word “failed” –- DAs such as Kim Foxx in Chicago, George Gascon in Los Angeles, and Chesa Boudin in San Francisco to reshape how up-and-coming prosecutors around the country think about crime and punishment. It was co-launched by former Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance --- you know, the prosecutor who has been trying for years to “find” something on Donald Trump. So, is HE soft on crime? Maybe in terms of racial equity, but not when it comes to political adversaries.

As the NYP reports, “The Institute’s symposiums and issue papers hold forth on topics such as race, officer-involved deaths and bail reform –- all in a concerted effort to change the role of the prosecutor to be more proactive and less punitive.”

Their declaration, “Vision for the Modern Prosecutor,” says that “no one should be defined by their bad conduct alone.” I wonder what factors besides bad conduct should be used in court to prosecute cases and if Lady Justice is now expected to take off her blindfold to assess these. Should she look at what party or political candidates one supports? How one feels about vaccination and masking? What zip code one lives in? What race one is?

According to their position papers, they strive to charge accused criminals with fewer crimes and, if possible, keep them out of jail entirely. They even recommend that offenders not be called “offenders,” but instead something that respects their “humanity.”

They don’t say it, but this kid-glove treatment seems to apply only to criminals who don’t support Trump, as they apparently believe that anyone who supports Trump possesses no humanity and is, by definition, a QAnon supporter (!) and domestic terrorist.

They do swerve into the truth when their spokesman says, “No one benefits from the conviction of an innocent person.” That’s quite correct, but it’s a huge leap from that to suggest in a paper called “How Prosecutors Can Support a Reimagined Police Response” that law enforcers should celebrate “when prosecutors exonerate someone.”

Another paper, on “Creating a Culture of Racial Equity,” suggests that a hotline be created so that whistleblowers can turn in “internal obstructionists” who aren’t on board with new “woke” policies. We’re seeing more and more of this lately: the government encouraging internal spies to turn people in for even expressing a dissenting opinion.

Take a look at their website, and you’ll see they’re after more than just the big cities. Their next step is to take “restorative justice” to “smaller jurisdictions.”

https://www.prosecution.org

We see from this page that they are receiving help from Microsoft’s Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. Microsoft, really??

https://www.prosecution.org/beyond-big-cities

Under “Race and Prosecution,” they mention “action guides” such as “Creating a Culture of Racial Equity” and “Race and Prosecution,” which was co-authored by Angela J. Davis, recipient of the Soros Senior Justice Fellowship, “for prosecutors seeking to address systemic disproportionality and disparity.”

There’s a primer written in 2020 called “Prosecutorial Culture Change,” in which students are asked what they would do “on day 1” as an elected head prosecutor. On his “day 1,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wrote a memo to his prosecutors instructing them not to seek prison sentences for a long list of criminals and to downgrade felony charges for some armed robbers and drug dealers. Bragg’s chief assistant DA, Meg Reiss, happens to have once been its executive director. And guess who was on its initial advisory panel?

Then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

For details on how this effort has NOT worked, see the NYP story. It seems as though they're working as hard to crank out leftists as the schools have been. But the attempt to avoid punishing those who commit violent crimes and trying instead to to rehabilitate them has been “a significant failure,” according to former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. “I have been very outspoken about my concerns on these so-called progressive DAs,” he said. “Most of the cities now with these violent crimes are the ones with these types of DAs.”

So, really, the same principles apply now that did in 1952. The justice system fails, the hoodlums take over, and the people become convinced it’s hopeless, thinking we might as well hand over the whole nation. But here's the positive side: we can see the mechanism by which this is being accomplished. And if we know what makes the wheels turn, we can dismantle it.